News July 28, 2021

Fraud charges against Adelaide concert promoter Phil Rankine dismissed

Fraud charges against Adelaide concert promoter Phil Rankine dismissed

Fraud charges against veteran Adelaide concert promoter Phil Rankine were dismissed in Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday.

Chief magistrate Mary-Louise Hribal threw the case out when the police prosecutor asked for six more months to investigate.

She said that police already had enough time to produce a strong enough case after charging the 52-year old with $5.5 million worth of fraud.

“It’s been before the court now for 11 months,” she said.

“A forensic accountant’s report was completed back in April. I think that sufficient time.”

Rankine, whose company Space Productions previously staged Lionel Richie, Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, Florence + The Machine and Phil Collins concerts in South Australia, had not pleaded to any of the 20 counts levelled at him.

In 2018 and 2019 he approached a number of investors in Australia and overseas for $5.5 million, telling them he was planning to bring , and Rob Thomas to Adelaide.

Two weeks ago police requested more time for their case, including speaking to Sydney-based promoters on the “serious nature” of “complex” agreements they may have signed with Rankine.

At that time, Rankine’s lawyer Craig Fabbian asked the magistrate to throw the case out, saying that plans to talk to other promoters “appears to be a second bite of the cherry, with further inquiries being made in the hope that further evidence might prove the allegations that have already been laid”.

“My client has a long history of successfully promoting events … the fact that a business fails does not necessarily mean a person is engaged in dishonest conduct.”

Chief magistrate Hribal adjourned the case until yesterday instructing police to “have matters sorted out” by then.

Yesterday when police asked for more time, the magistrate refused and dismissed the charges, however they can be reactivated.

“Should more material come to light over the course of the next six months and the prosecution then decide they’ve got sufficient material to re-lay and take it to the director, that’s a matter for them,” she said.

Rankine and his former wife Amity Dry competed on TV home show The Block twice and won The Block All-Stars in 2013.

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