Tradie ‘billionaire’ Phillip Harrison may have faked accounts


Phillip Harrison leaving court. Photo / Corp

It was the bank balance that had a Queensland court baffled.
Noosa man Phillip Johnathan Harrison appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday after he was allegedly found with the drug ice, ecstasy and viagra on him when police pulled over his Audi.
A bricklayer and tradie, 29-year-old Harrison seemed an unlikely candidate to be one of Australia’s richest men – but he allowed court officials to log into his bank account which revealed he had $590 million cash and a big property portfolio.
The amount of money stumped even the lawyer representing him, Nick Hanly, who said: “I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.”
Now it seems it wasn’t all as it seemed. The Courier Mail reports Harrison may have used a computer app that makes a bank account look genuine, but is in fact a fake account.
People with a lot of money in their accounts are usually granted bail because they are considered less likely to try and flee before their case is brought back to court.
The court heard the bricklayer and carpenter told officers he was worth $12 billion and later explained to his lawyer he’d been given the car by the government.
Mr Hanly said he had asked Harrison 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 and a property portfolio of $1.56 billion.
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.
Outside court Harrison told media he made the money in, “investments, my ideas in cars, apps, trade, I sold them overseas, have been for years”.
“How would I make billions in drugs without being caught?” he asked.
His case will return to court on April 18.

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