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The veteran Australian concert and wrestling promoter pleaded guilty earlier today to perverting the course of justice over a mystery suitcase containing more than $700k
By Jon Chapple on 23 Aug 2016
Australian concert promoter Andrew McManus, founder of Melbourne-based One World Entertainment, faces up to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.
McManus (pictured), who has promoted shows by major acts including Kiss, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Whitney Houston and The Beach Boys in Australia and New Zealand, admitted the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment, at the Downing Centre court in Sydney earlier today, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
The promoter was one of five people arrested in September following the discovery of a suitcase containing A$702,000 in a room at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney in 2011. In 2012 McManus told police the cash related to a business deal he had arranged for Owen Hanson, a “very good friend of a friend”, to secure a ZZ Top tour, but that he needed it back to fund a Lenny Kravitz tour. “In essence, I delivered back 700 grand I now need to borrow it again,” he said. “As quickly as possible.”
While McManus eventually claimed the money was his – “It’s not the proceeds of crime, it’s the proceeds of Andrew McManus… I gave someone 700 large, and you’ve found someone with 700 large. It’s my 700 large,” he said – police were previously told the occupant of the Hilton room, Sean Carolan, was minding it for his business partner, peptide entrepreneur Owen Hanson Jnr, and then that Hanson was investing it in Carolan’s weight-loss company.
“There is still plenty of water to run under this bridge… all I will say is sometimes in life you have to go backwards before you can go forwards”
Two other men, solicitor Michael Croke and McManus’s friend and associate, underworld figure and alleged drug-dealer Craig Haeusler, also stand charged of attempting to retrieve the money from police and are awaiting a trial date.
Two other charges attached to McManus – participating in a criminal group and attempting to gain a financial advantage by deception (by claiming the cash was his) – have been dropped.
Just five months ago the promoter wrote on Facebook the allegations were “libellous” and blamed the case on the “Aussie thing” of “bring[ing] down all tall poppies”. McManus told IQ today he can’t currently comment, as there’s “still plenty of water to run under this bridge”, but adds: “all I will say is sometimes in life you have to go backwards before you can go forward.”
McManus will appear in court once more on 26 August, when his sentencing date will be fixed.
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