$5.5 million fraud and theft charges against the concert promoter and former The Block reality TV star, Phil Rankine, have been dismissed by the Adelaide Magistrates Court.
The Music Network reported today that Chief Magistrate Mary Louise Hribal dismissed the case when the police prosecutor requested a further extension of six months to investigate Rankine’s agreements and contracts.
“It has been in court for 11 months now. A forensic accountant’s report was completed back in April. I think that sufficient time,” she said.
The charges are related to Phil Rankine approaching several Australian and international investors in 2018 and 2019 for $5.5 million telling them of his intention to bring Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Rob Thomas to Adelaide.
Rankine had not pleaded for any of the 20 charges against him. Rankine’s lawyer, Craig Fabbian argues that failure to deliver the concert does not warrant the charges of fraud.
“My client has a long history of successfully promoting events… just because a business fails doesn’t necessarily mean someone is engaging in dishonest conduct,” he said.
Police had also asked for additional time on the case two weeks ago to speak with Sydney-based promoters about the agreements made by Rankine. Chief Magistrate Hribal had adjourned the case for two weeks to allow police to “have matters sorted out.”
At the time of the adjournment, Fabbian had requested the magistrate to throw the case out. He describes this intention of further speaking with other promoters as a sign of lack of evidence for the charges.
“Seems like a second bite of the icing, further investigations being carried out in the hope that further evidence might prove the allegations that have already been made,” he said.
After the magistrate refused the additional extension and dismissed the charges on Tuesday, she did notify the court that the case could still be reactivated.
“If other elements are revealed during the next six months and the prosecution decides then that they have enough elements to give them back and pass them on to the director, that is their business,” Chief Magistrate Hribal said.
Photo: NINE NETWORK