Ex-NRL star chases developer over $700k debt
A FORMER State of Origin rugby league star claims he is owed $700,000 by the Chinese property giant that ended Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire's political career.
Matt Adamson, who played 157 games for the Penrith Panthers in the 1990s and is now a property buyer's agent, has accused developer Country Garden of refusing to pay him a 1 per cent finder's fee for a $70 million land purchase in Sydney's southwest.
At the centre of the dispute is the man Mr Maguire described to the corruption watchdog as his "instant friend" from Country Garden, then head of investments Tim Lakos.
Mr Adamson told The Daily Telegraph he introduced Mr Lakos to a $70 million Camden land deal, but was never paid a promised 1 per cent commission.
"I believe these big corporations try to scare people off with legal action," Mr Adamson said.
"What about the Aussie battler standing up for what's right. My issue is for Australian people to stand up for what they believe and not get bullied by big corporations."
Country Garden denies Mr Adamson is owed anything for the $70 million land purchase from the Rofe family at Cawdor, which put the company in pole position to profit from the massive M9 proposed motorway southwest of Sydney.
Mr Maguire on the weekend bowed to pressure and will resign from his seat of Wagga after the ICAC heard he was angling to make commissions from Country Garden in exchange for introducing his friend Mr Lakos to potential land sites.
Mr Adamson in an email on 23 December 2016 to Mr Lakos, who left the company in March, attached a draft proposal for development on Cawdor Road which included details and maps of blocks Country Garden settled in September for $70 million.
"My agent has just released this to me," Mr Adamson wrote. "Sorry to bother you mate this close to Xmas, I have the feeling from the start this is Country Gardens (sic) type of land."
In an invoice for the $700,000 finder's fee emailed to Country Garden on Monday night Mr Adamson said under a confidentiality agreement with the company he introduced 20 sites to the company ranging in value from $20 million to $1 billion.
"Tim Lakos who was Head of Investment at the time offered Matt Adamson buyer's agent fees of the following 1 per cent for the first $200 million purchase price and 0.5 per cent for anything above that," Mr Adamson says in the invoice.
Mr Lakos yesterday said property giant JLL, not Mr Adamson, acted as buyer's agent for the Cawdor land.
"Matt Adamson never had a current agreement with Country Garden," said Mr Lakos, declaring the claim "ludicrous". "Matt has no right to anything," he said.
Mr Adamson said: "Country Garden need to prove to me that I wasn't the person who introduced the land."
In a statement a spokesman for Country Garden did not confirm JLL was involved, but claimed Mr Adamson was not.
"CGA has complied with all statutory and contractual requirements in relation to these transactions and has paid all buyer's commissions owed," he said.
Mr Adamson, who played two games for the Blues in the 2001 Origin series, stood as a Senate candidate for Clive Palmer's party in 2013.
But he became embroiled in a dispute with the billionaire businessman over an unpaid $5300 bill for a "calamari and chips night" fundraiser.