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Allen Caratti family trust on pointy end of new action by liquidators appointed by the ATO

Australian Taxation Office-funded liquidators have moved to seize key Allen Caratti family assets as part of a $100 million-plus probe into the property mogul.

Insolvency accountants Rob Kirman and Jamie Harris are asking the Supreme Court to give them control of the family assets linked to a series of Piara Waters commercial and residential developments since the mid-2000s.

While leaving out four properties that have been seized or sold by receivers, Mr Kirman and Mr Harris are demanding control of the remaining land and any other assets held by the once-bountiful Whitby Trust.

The Whitby Trust was at the centre of a legal battle between the tax office and three of Mr Caratti’s daughters that went all the way to the High Court last year.

The nation’s highest court ruled in April this year that daughters Alisha, Nicole and Natalie had not properly disclaimed undistributed profits from Nicholson Road land developments after the 2013-14 financial year.

The tax office has pursued Mr Caratti’s daughters since 2017 for upwards of $9 million of earnings from the Piara Waters development run by the Caratti-directed Whitby Land Company for the Whitby Trust.

Mr Caratti and his partner Tina Bazzo have faced a variety of battles with Federal agencies and secured creditors since Australian Federal Police raided their offices and home in January 2015.

Federal agencies revealed in the Federal Court they were searching for documents from companies, including Whitby Land, that had sold more than $140 million of land up until 2015.

Receivers appointed by Optima Funding have controlled and sold valuable chunks of assets held Whitby Land while the tax office has been keeping a close watch on activities around Piara Waters and Forestdale.

Mr Kirman and Mr Harris, who the tax office had appointed Whitby Land liquidators in June 2017, now want full control of Whitby Trust assets that include vacant lots next to the Piara Waters commercial area.

Their legal push also includes an undeveloped lot on the Harrisdale border opposite lots sold by Whitby Land in 2012.

Mr Caratti is a member of the wealthy Caratti land holding family that holds urban and rural land worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But he is also locked in a bitter Supreme Court fight with his estranged brother John whether projects such as Piara Waters are part of family arrangement set-up by their late father Sergio ‘Mick’ Caratti, who died in 1992.

It is believed the tax office investigation does not cover the long-established family arrangement and is focused on projects embarked upon by Allen Caratti and Ms Bazzo this century.

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