Michael Hutchence’s business manager Colin Diamond used a tax haven to cash in on the dead rock star’s unheard songs, leaked financial documents reveal.
Diamond, who was also the INXS star’s lawyer, set up a company in Mauritius called Helipad Plain ahead of the twentieth anniversary of Hutchence’s death this month.
The offshore company claimed it had rights to exploit ‘sound recordings, images, films, and related material embodying the performance of Michael Hutchence.’
The details of the company and its colourful investors were laid bare in an explosive leak of over 13 million confidential documents dubbed the ‘Paradise Papers’.
Hutchence’s daughter Tiger Lily was not mentioned in the documents, casting doubt on reports she inherited ‘millions’ in royalties on her 21st birthday in June this year.
Michael Hutchence’s (left) business manager allegedly used a tax haven in Mauritius to cash in on the dead rock star’s unheard songs, leaked financial documents reveal. The late rockstar’s daughter Tiger Lily (right) was not mentioned in any of the confidential files
Hutchence’s business manager Colin Diamond set up a company called Helipad Plain in 2015 in Mauritius. The company claimed it had rights to exploit ‘sound recordings, images, films, and related material embodying the performance of Michael Hutchence’
The question of what happened to Hutchence’s estate has been one of the biggest mysteries of the rock world
The question of what happened to Hutchence’s estate – said to be worth as much as $27million – has been one of the biggest mysteries of the rock world.
His death in a Sydney hotel room in 1997 sparked a bitter war over who should inherit his vast riches.
His mother Patricia Glassop, father Kel and sister Tina fought through the courts for eight years only to be told by the executor that Hutchence owned virtually nothing.
In fact, the 2005 court case revealed Hutchence’s assets were being kept in a complex web of offshore trusts set up in tax havens and run by Diamond and others.
Diamond maintained Hutchence had never wanted his relatives to inherit his fortune.
However, this clashed with the rock star’s will, which said he left half his estate to daughter Tiger Lily, who was adopted by Irish singer Bob Geldof at the age of four.
Tiger’s late mother Paula Yates, who died of a heroin overdose when she was just four, was in a relationship with Geldof for 20 years before dating Hutchence.
In another court case in 2010, Diamond claimed Hutchence had transferred all rights to INSX’s material to Chardonnay, a company run by him, four years before his death.
Hutchence’s will said he left half his estate to his daughter Tiger Lily (pictured together above)
Hutchence (left, in 1996) died in a Sydney hotel room in 1997. His partner Paula Yates (centre) died of a heroin overdose in 2000. Their daughter Tiger Lily (centre) was adopted by Irish singer Bob Geldof
Millions or nothing? Hutchence’s estate is said to be worth as much as $27million, but his daughter Tiger Lily may not be able to access any of it, according to leaked documents
Helipad Plain, which Diamond formed with Australian tech entrepreneur Ron Creevey, was financially backed by a host of colourful investors.
Among the investors were Kings Cross figure John Ibrahim, his financial adviser Margaret Staltaro.
Creevey has since distanced himself from the Helipad Plain enterprise, claiming he had severed financial ties with the company.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting that Mr Diamond, Mr Creevey, Mr Ibrahim or Ms Staltaro have engaged in any illegal conduct in setting up or operating the company.
A collection of media outlets led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists spent months combing through the Paradise Papers.
The documents include details relating to the movement of billions of dollars through Bermuda by the Australian arm of the global mining giant Glencore.
Helipad Plain, which Diamond formed with Australian tech entrepreneur Ron Creevey (right), was financially backed by a host of colourful investors including John Ibrahim (left)
Among the investors were Kings Cross figure John Ibrahim (left) and his financial adviser Margaret Staltaro (right)
The Australian Taxation Office has begun analysing the data as part of a wider investigation into complex tax structures used by companies and individuals.
‘We know and trust that most people do the right thing, and that many taxpayers identified as part of the leak will be meeting their Australian tax obligations,’ the ATO’s deputy commissioner international Mark Konza said in a statement on Monday.
‘However, we investigate all leads and have the resources and expertise to take action against taxpayers or intermediaries found to be caught-up in the illegal use of offshore structures or providers.’
ATO officials have spent months working with partner agencies in Australia and overseas ahead of the release of the Paradise Papers in an attempt to identify possible tax avoidance.
Hutchence’s lawyer set up a company in Mauritius to cash in on the dead rock star’s unheard songs (pictured with former girlfriend Kylie Minogue)
The details of Hutchence’s (pictured) lawyer’s company were laid bare in an explosive leak of over 13 million confidential documents dubbed the ‘Paradise Papers’
Meanwhile, Treasurer Scott Morrison has dismissed renewed calls by Labor to commit to a tax haven transparency package, which includes rules forcing companies to detail where they pay tax and if they operate in tax havens.
He downplayed the need for such a package, saying the best way to catch tax dodgers was for the ATO and its partners overseas to continue sharing information so they can go after those who are avoiding tax.
‘I am not going to do anything that will undermine a key information tool that is actually helping tax jurisdictions not only here, but overseas, to put an end to these type of tax-shifting arrangements,’ Mr Morrison told ABC radio on Monday.
But Opposition assistant treasury spokesman Andrew Leigh says unless the government commits to a tax haven transparency package, the public will have to rely on Paradise Papers-style leaks ‘to expose the murky use of tax havens’.
Among the Paradise Papers are documents showing how Glencore’s Australian division moved billions of dollars through Bermuda using cross-currency interest rate swaps to try and minimise its tax liabilities.
Glencore has said it used the swaps to hedge foreign currency exchange risks, but stopped doing this in 2016 after a ruling by the ATO.
Mr Morrison later told reporters that the ATO had secured $4 billion worth of legal settlements in relation to tax avoidance.
‘So my message to multinationals is, ‘pay your tax’ and increasingly that is exactly what they are doing,’ he said.