|Ian Lazar's current legal team: Jacquie Saldaneri and Niall Coburn|
Photo: SiN Images
Niall Coburn, a Queensland-based barrister who was formerly a specialist investigator for the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), appeared at the Central Local Court in Sydney today on behalf of Lazar, who remains in custody on charges of defrauding an elderly woman out of her home. Coburn is also a former managing director at FTI Consulting, where according to his Linked In profile he led its regulatory and forensic investigation practice.
Coburn told the court that four prosecution statements tended in court today "raise extremely serious allegations" against Lazar and he would have to consult with his client in relation to them.
He said the bail hearing was likely to be lengthy and asked for a date before the end of the year. He also told the court that Lazar, 43, has secured the services of Queens Counsel Peter Bodor, although SiN could not confirm this from Bodor's chambers prior to publication.
According to his professional profile Bodor's principal areas of practice include criminal law offences relating to, among other things, "homicide .. wounding .. kidnapping".
In an earlier appearance Lazar's previous barrister Rick Mitry told the court that his client would strenuously defend the charges, which he said resulted from a campaign by disgruntled investors in dispute with Lazar.
Mitry told the court his client was prepared to surrender his passport and abide by any bail conditions the court cared to set. SiN understands a supporter of Lazar has offered a $200,000 surety.
Sources told SiN today that fraud squad investigators are strenuously opposing bail. The four statements tended today contain details of alleged death threats the distressed debt trader is alleged to have made against current and former business associates.
The towering figure of Safi was spotted in earnest conversation with a member from the prosecution team after the hearing today.
Sources said Safi had supplied significant information, and more would likely be produced when the matter returns to court next week.
Also appearing for Lazar was solicitor Jacquie Saldaneri. Neither she nor Coburn were prepared to make any comment outside the court.
See also: Big end of town unwittingly endorsed Lazar scheme