Tuesday 3 September 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Fevola bound for bankruptcy court

LOAN sharks and gambling, rehab and debt. No prizes for guessing Brendan Fevola is the subject of this story, the next chapter of which could play out in the bankruptcy courts where the troubled AFL legend is being chased for a relatively minuscule $7,000 debt.

Last month a creditor's petition naming Fevola as respondent debtor was filed in the Queensland registry of the Federal Circuit Court. If the debt isn't settled beforehand, the former sporting superstar could be bankrupted.

According to the petition, Brisbane property developer Luciano Menniti is chasing $7,296.08c, constituting funds he claims he loaned to Fevola in 2010, around the time the beleaguered star was in Brisbane undergoing rehabilitation for depression, as well as alcohol and gambling addiction. SiN sought comment from Fevola's via his manager Marty Pask of Essentially Group but did not receive a response by time of writing.

It was during this period that loan sharks wielding baseball bats allegedly turned up at the offices of Fevola's former managers, Velocity Sports demanding prompt repayment. Sources say some debts were settled swiftly. Other lenders were persuaded to wait. 

The carrot used to buy time was an anticipated $700,000 windfall via contractual payments Fevola would be due following his sacking from the Brisbane Lions in February, 2011. It was later reported that the Lions paid in excess of $1 million in a confidential settlement.

Menniti pursued repayment of his money through the courts and won judgement against Fevola in November 2011. He says he took the action on principle, arising from the circumstances in which he says the loan was made, and is not motivated by the money.

Following the awarding of the judgement, Fevola was served with a bankruptcy notice on May 18. By June 8 he had not complied or filed any form of offset or counter claim and Menniti proceeded with the creditor's petition action.

At this stage it is uncertain at this stage whether Gregg Lawyers, which is acting for Menniti, has obtained a consent to Act from a registered bankruptcy trustee.

Barring a settlement, Menniti's application for a sequestration order over Fevola's assets is due to be heard in the Brisbane Federal Circuit Court on September 25, 2013.

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