The 29-year-old bricklayer claims he is worth $12 billion. Photo / iStock
A tradie pulled over by police in a luxury sports car has more than $590 million (NZ$660 million) in the bank but isn’t at liberty to say how he got it, a Brisbane court has heard.
Phillip Johnathan Harrison was granted bail in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday, a day after police pulled him over in an Audi sports car and found quantities of ice, Viagra and ecstasy.
The court heard the bricklayer and carpenter told officers he was worth $12 billion (NZ$13.4 billion) and later explained to his lawyer he’d been given the car by the government.
Duty lawyer Nick Hanly said he had asked the 29-year-old the origin of his significant net wealth, which he’d apparently only come into in the past 12 months.
“He said he wasn’t at liberty to say,” Mr Hanly told the court.
“At this point, I was considering getting mental health to come in.”
But Mr Hanly said Harrison then urged him to log on to his online banking account – which showed a cash balance of $596 million ($NZ669 million) and a property portfolio of $1.56 billion (NZ$1.75 billion).
If legitimate, the net worth would make the labourer wealthier than the likes of Harvey Norman co-founder Gerry Harvey, mining magnate Andrew Forrest and property and construction king Lang Walker.
“I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes,” Mr Hanly said of his client’s bank balance. The court heard Harrison was an ice user.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Sean Francis suggested Harrison’s passport be surrendered as a condition of bail, given his means could make him an increased flight risk. Magistrate Anthony Gett agreed and also granted bail on the condition Harrison reside at a Tewantin address.
The matter will return to court on April 18.