Therese Rein instituted Queensland Supreme Court proceedings to legally enforce a contract with the estate of deceased nun Frances Jane Edwards in 2006. By doing so it is estimated that Ms Rein saved herself $4.5 million.
Frances Edwards was Therese Rein’s original business partner when she set up the rehabilitation business Work Directions in 1988 (now Ingeus) and Ms Edwards had 5200 shares in the business when she died in 2006. It was estimated the true value of the shares was over $5 million at the time.
“Ms Rein and Edwards – the founding shareholders in the company – signed an agreement on or about May 22, 1988, declaring that their shares would be sold to the other, for a pre-determined price of $100 a share, if either of them died.”
“Within weeks of the Supreme Court granting probate to three executors, Ms Rein gave notice, on June 21, of her intention to buy the Ingeus shares in accordance with the agreement and sent a cheque for $520,000 and a share transfer form the following day.”
“When the executors of the estate tried to stop the sale, Ms Rein took them to the Queensland Supreme Court until they relented” (Click here to read more)
This raises two key questions:
1. While on the face of it some might think that it is standard practice to have a clause if one partner dies the other can buy their shares. But in 1988 when the contract was signed Therese Rein was about 30 years old and her partner Frances Edwards was 56 years old. So the chance that Ms Rein would die before Ms Edwards was almost zero. Which means the deal was really just an option for Therese Rein to buy the shares later down the track at a fixed price. And a very low price it turned out to be to the benefit of Ms Rein and Kevin.
2. $520,000 is a lot of money especially back in 1988 for a rehabilitation business that has not even started trading. But it is not a big amount if you know the business is about to start getting millions of dollars of government business. Which is exactly what happened via Kevin Rudd, when he was Chief of Staff to Premier Wayne Goss, making sure plenty of business went Work Directions way.
Do you think Kevin Rudd had anything to do with the drafting of the contract? Of course he did!
The house deal windfall
It is worth looking at the house deal that Kevin Rudd did in 1994 where he had amazing luck. Where did the luck come from? Two Labor Party boys.
Kevin Rudd bought his current house in Brisbane for $384,000 in 1994. Seven months earlier the house had been bought for $500,000 by Larry Moses and Nick Kassos who were also directors of the Labor Party company Texberg. Housing prices were rising at the time yet Kevin Rudd managed to buy a property $116,000 cheaper than it had been valued seven months earlier.
“The businessmen were directors of Texberg with Labor luminaries and union bosses. They included Mr Brusasco, the then chairman of Labor Holdings, the major fundraising entity for the ALP in Queensland; and Harry Hauenschild, former president of the Trades and Labour Council in Queensland.”
“Subsequent directors of Texberg after Mr Kassos and Mr Moses resigned from the company in 1992 include Wayne Swan, now the Opposition Treasury spokesman; Australian Workers Union head Bill Ludwig; ALP state secretary Milton Dick and his predecessors Mike Kaiser and Cameron Milner; and Queensland Teachers Union general-secretary John Battams.”
“Texberg, which has been named in federal and state parliament because of its connections to the Labor Party, was deregistered last year.”
Mr Moses said “I did not even know that Kevin Rudd had bought it.”
A spokesman for Mr Rudd said yesterday: “Mr Rudd and Ms Rein put a bid on a house in December 1994. They understood that the house had been vacant and on the market for a long period of time. After a normal commercial negotiation through the real estate agent, they bought the property.” (Click here to read more)
Yep, just a stroke of good luck there by Kevin and Therese. Kevin at the time was Director-General of the Cabinet Office in the Wayne Goss state government. Would he have known Mr Moses and Mr Kassos? Of course he would have. And why the discount? Maybe a bribe, a payback or just looking after a good Labor boy.
The house deal shows the corrupt environment Kevin Rudd was operating in during the 1990′s when Work Directions (Ingeus) was taking off like a rocket receiving government business and contracts which Kevin was in a position to influence.
I will keep following up on this even after the election because not enough questions have been asked and they should have been asked a long time ago. Therese Rein has popped her head up and has been doing plenty of media interviews yet no one bothers to ask her any tough questions. A comment from a previous post rings true which said:
“Aussies are so gullible. If some African dictators wife becomes independently rich we would not believe it, but if it’s an Aussie prime ministers wife we think it is all above-board.”
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