Justin Hemmes’ construction boss has agreed to pay the Sydney hospitality tsar’s Merivale group almost $230,000 in the wake of allegations he authorised false invoices to be paid into his bank account.
In civil proceedings on Thursday, NSW Supreme Court Justice Michael Pembroke finalised the settlement deal by making consent orders that Joel Cheeseman, 30, pay $229,811 – the same amount police claim he fleeced from the bar and restaurant empire by authorising false invoices.
Justin Hemmes and, inset, Joel Cheeseman.
The judge did not make any findings as to whether Mr Cheeseman was liable, and Mr Cheeseman made no admissions. It is understood Mr Cheeseman’s legal costs to defend the case would have exceeded the amount claimed.
Merivale obtained a freezing order against Mr Cheeseman earlier this month, requiring him not to remove from Australia, transfer or diminish the value of any of his assets up to the value of $300,000.