Andrew McManus Pleads Guilty To Lying To Police

Australian concert promoter Andrew McManus pleaded guilty in a Sydney court Aug. 24 to attempting to pervert the course of justice by lying to police over the ownership of a large sum of money discovered in a Sydney hotel room in 2011, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.  

The charge has a maximum term of 14 years in jail. The date of a sentencing hearing will be fixed Aug. 27.

Further charges of knowingly participating in a criminal group and attempting to gain a financial advantage by deception by claiming the cash was his were dropped. McManus, 55, was one of five arrested in the country and in the States September 2015 following the discovery of a suitcase containing A$702,000 ($524,280) at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney.

Businessman Craig Haeusler, Kings Cross lawyer Michael Croke and the owner of a Rolls Royce leasing company Zeki Atilgan were apprehended in Sydney.

U.S. businessman Owen Hanson Jr. was arrested in San Diego. A joint investigation into possible drug smuggling and money laundering by the New South Wales (NSW) police and FBI had begun in 2011. Hanson’s partner in the Advanced Peptide Solutions business, former cage fighter turned personal trainer Sean Carolan, was found in the Hilton room with the money.

An anonymous tip-off claimed he had a gun in the room. Police never found a weapon. Questioned by police in April 2012, McManus insisted that the money in the suitcase was his.

“It’s not the proceeds of crime, it’s the proceeds of Andrew McManus,” he said. “I gave someone 700 large, and you’ve found someone with 700 large. It’s my 700 large. In essence, I delivered back 700 grand I now need to borrow it again, as quickly as possible.”

Because of issues he had with the Australian Tax Office, he added, he had arranged for Hanson, “a very good friend of a friend,” to pay $700,000 to book a ZZ Top tour, but decided he wanted the money back to fund a Lenny Kravitz tour. Other artists that McManus brought to Australia and New Zealand included KISSDef Leppard, Whitney Houston, UB40, AerosmithFleetwood Mac, the Beach Boys and Mötley Crüe.

His One World Entertainment company is currently touring Engelbert Humperdinck. An earlier company, Andrew McManus Presents shuttered primarily due to a 2011 salary cap furor involving the National Rugby League’s Melbourne Storm club. McManus’ company allegedly made illegal payments to players, and was fined $2.4 million ($1.8 million) by the Australian Tax Office.