Exclusive: The Marlborough men of Members Alliance infamy appear to be riding into troubled territory, with son Braiden pleading guilty to a charge that carries up 12 months’ jail while his father Richard — who has found new love in the arms of a younger woman — faces up to 12 years behind bars if convicted of fraud.
News Corp Australia can reveal that next month, luxury-loving Marlborough Jnr will be sentenced for making “false or misleading statements” to Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission during its investigation into the $40 million collapse of the property investment group.
The wannabe jetsetter had been fighting a perjury charge, which alleged he had knowingly given false testimony about “his knowledge of and conversations with Richard John Marlborough about the practice of pre-claims made on construction loans”.
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Documents filed with the Queensland Magistrates Court show that on February 4 this year that charge was replaced with the new, lesser offence of making false or misleading statements, to which he pleaded guilty.
Marlborough Jnr’s lawyer declined to comment.
A document on the court file of Marlborough Snr — a bankrupt who personally owes about $27 million following the failure of the empire he founded — reveals that authorities have been listening in on phone conversations between father and son, including a discussion in which Richard said he was considering relocating to Hong Kong.
The tap is disclosed in notes by a magistrate who was assessing Marlborough’s application for the return of his passport and permission to travel abroad on behalf of an Australian company in stints of up to 10 days.
“The finance manager has known the defendant for only one year and the business has been operating for nine months,” the magistrate wrote. “She acknowledges his bankruptcy and is aware of his facing fraud charges.”
The magistrate wrote that the charges carry a “maximum penalty of 12 years” and that the brief of evidence ran to 27 terabytes.
“That is an enormous amount of data,” the magistrate wrote. One terabyte is 1000 gigabytes and equal to about 500 hours of movies.
In opposing the application, prosecutors claimed there was a flight risk.
“The Crown tendered an affidavit detailing some of the contents of lawfully intercepted telecommunications with his son Braiden, one of which refers to his considering basing himself in Hong Kong,” the magistrate’s notes say.
“The defendant faces three serious charges which I am told he intends to vigorously contest (but) it is open to infer that, having been charged with the particular charges and the serious consequences which may flow from that if found guilty, there is now even more reason for him to want to flee the jurisdiction.”
The magistrate was leaning towards a return of the passport — but requiring a cash deposit of $150,000 and a surety of $100,000.
But Marlborough Snr dropped his bail variation application before the magistrate could determine the application.
After being charged in February last year he split from his wife. He has begun a relationship with Brisbane woman Angela Maree Cohen.
His ex, Deborah, allowed him to live in the family mansion inside the gated golf estate Hope Island, but the property was sold in February this year.
He and Ms Cohen have since spent considerable time at The Grand — another exclusive golf community in the area.