McManus To Fight Money-Laundering Links

Set to appear in a Sydney court Oct. 14, promoter Andrew McManus told the Melbourne Herald Sun, “I will be fighting this with every breath I have left in me. For obvious reasons I cannot speak further.” 

As already reported in Pollstar, the 54-year-old was arrested at Melbourne airport Sept. 10 and linked with alleged money-laundering. He was one of five people charged.

His lawyer, Nick Hanna, also emphasised in a statement that his client would “strenuously defend” the charges.

“Contrary to some media reports, the police have not alleged that Mr McManus has been involved in any drug syndicate, drug importation or money laundering,” Hanna added. “Mr McManus has been cooperative with the police at all times in relation to this matter.”

McManus is charged with perverting the course of justice, intention to defraud by making false and misleading statements and knowingly participating in a criminal group. P

olice allege the group provided the proceeds of cocaine deals to a professional gambler at Sydney’s The Star casino, who took the cheques and cashed them in Las Vegas casinos.

Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, head of the NSW Organised Crime Squad, said there was “no suggestion the casino was complicit in any way.”

The FBI and the NSW Police allege the group laundered A$5 million ($4.2 million) through Sydney and Las Vegas casinos and imported 300kg of cocaine from Mexico.

McManus has been behind tours by Fleetwood Mac, Luciano Pavarotti, UB40 and Lenny Kravitz, with KISS in October and Def Leppard in November. He also founded the Raggamuffin festival in New Zealand. Police became aware of the criminal group in 2011 after a tip-off led to a suitcase containing A$702,000 ($497,820) in the Sydney hotel room of former cage fighter Sean Carolan.

According to court documents, McManus claimed the money was his and proceeds of a Kravitz tour.