Comments out of whack problem


Hi folks just a quickie to explain what happened to the comments and replies appearing out-of-order.

A WordPress engineer wrote the following reply to my queries. New threads etc.  should be good from here on in.

Sorry for the confusion, it seems me trying to make things simpler made then more confusing!

Hi Robbo,

The nesting is currently working as seen here:
https://cloudup.com/cqXId7o6tIW
However you will see that it is only 3 levels deep (which it was set at before). So, what happened was that users could not reply to comments after that point. They could only add a new comment, and they could not reply to a comment that was already 3 levels deep.
So currently it looks a bit confusing as users were only able to add new comments underneath from here:
https://cloudup.com/cfXzSWRRAMA
This just adds new comments on the 1st level making it look like a straight line with no indents, but as seen in the first screenshot the indents are pretty obvious. Since I changed it to 10 nested levels, it shouldn’t be that bad from this point forward. Unfortunately, I can’t change this for the posts that were already published because there would be no way to tell which comment your readers wanted to reply to.

Let me know if you have any questions about this.

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Baden-Clay due to face trial in June for the murder of his wife, Allison


 Allison

Courier Mail

 A SUPREME Court judge has described a counsellor’s attempts to avoid testifying at the murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay as “bizarre”.

Justice James Douglas was commenting on submissions from the counsellor’s barrister that her sessions with Baden-Clay and his wife, Allison, were confidential.

“I regard the proceedings of the criminal courts of Australia as very significant proceedings,” Justice Douglas told a pre-trial hearing.

“I would have thought it would require very strong words to prevent evidence being called.

“To construe an act like this, to say evidence isn’t admissible when somebody’s on trial for murder, is quite frankly, in my mind, bizarre.

“A person on trial for the most serious crime really should be able to call evidence or have evidence called that is relevant.

“To construe the act this way, to try to say it’s actually in the public interest not to, I find very odd.”

Baden-Clay, who is due to face trial in June for the murder of his wife, sat silently in the dock for yesterday’s hearing. Clean-shaven and dressed in a dark suit, he was flanked by security guards and did not have his usual family support.

He reported his wife missing from their Brookfield home last April and her body was discovered under a bridge 10 days later.

Justice Douglas has been asked to rule on whether evidence from Relationships Australia counsellor Carmel Ritchie was admissible in the trial.

Barrister George Kalimnios, for Relationships Australia, argued the counsellor could legally keep her sessions with the Baden-Clays confidential.

But the prosecution and defence yesterday both told the court they wanted the evidence to be included and argued it was admissible.

Prosecutor Glen Cash, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court police executed a search warrant on Relationships Australia Queensland on May 11 last year.

Baden-Clay had a session with Ms Ritchie on April 16 last year, just four days before he reported his wife missing from the Brookfield home. His wife had a separate session with Ms Ritchie immediately after his, and had a previous session on March 27.

Mr Cash told the court any public interest in confidentiality was overwhelmed by the need for access to the full evidence for the murder trial.

Concerns about discouraging openness in counselling sessions had to be put behind the interests of allowing the trial, he said.

Concerns about effects on future counselling sessions could be “overstated” as counsellors could only be called to give evidence in a very small number of cases, he said.

Michael Byrne QC, for Baden-Clay, said a murder trial had far greater public interest than confidentially for counselling sessions.

Justice Douglas said he would make his decision known at a future date.

Outside court, Baden-Clay’s solicitor Peter Shields said: “There won’t be any comment at all until the end of the trial.”

Source:  http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/gerard-badenclay-appears-in-court-for-pretrial-hearing-to-decide-whether-counsellor-should-testify/story-e6freon6-1226730693253

UPDATE (Thanks to JJE).

Developments on the BC case in court this morning.  Mr Business-As-Usual was in court today, represented by the very capable Mr Shields.  The counsellor has been ordered to appear as a witness.  Although not mentioned in the relevant CM or BT articles, it has been said previously that BC’s legal team were not opposing the counsellor giving evidence…  I wonder if that is the case now… (keep in mind his legal team has changed).  A glance at the ruling and reporting indicates this is still the case. And previously the counsellor – through her barrister – has argued that the sessions were ‘confidential’…  Thankfully this judge has sensibly ruled otherwise

Reveal all, I say…  Reveal all and let everyone see for themselves…

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/badenclay-counsellor-can-give-evidence-20131219-2zmld.html

Federal Election – 7th September, 2013


It would be nice to have Free Speech, Rupert Murdoch:

Wait a minute

As quoted on Youtube:

The TV networks appear to be allowing Rupert Murdoch to again manipulate how people think and vote as he allegedly has an agenda.

A Former Officer’s Experiences at H.M. Prison, Pentridge.


Pentridge prison 1

Main entrance of former H.M.Prison Pentridge i...

Main entrance of former H.M.Prison Pentridge in Melbourne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Experiences and history of a former officer’s experience at H.M. Prison Pentridge.

HM Prison Pentridge was an Australian prison built in 1850 in Coburg, Victoria. The first prisoners arrived in 1851. The prison officially closed on 1 May 1997.

Pentridge was often known by the nickname “The Bluestone College”, “Coburg College” or the “College of Knowledge”. The grounds were originally landscaped by renowned landscape gardener Hugh Linaker.  Since decommissioning, the prison has been partly demolished to make way for a housing development. Large buildings have been built and a 16 floor modern apartment block is being planned.

The site is split in two with the northern prison being developed by Valad Property Group and the other areas by Pentridge Village. The National Trust has expressed strong concerns about the nature of the Heritage Victoria-approved Master Plans which involve peppering the walls with holes and building high-density high-rise between the historic divisions.

Pentridge prison 2

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Special Treatment involved for an Accused Killer: GBC enlists Defense Team allegedly using family contacts on Grants Committee – Part 11


Dear Allison

Dear Allison – Imagine how her children feel.

Should Gerard Baden-Clay, accused wife killer, be given special treatment?

Gerard Baden Clay allegedly has family working for Legal Aid Qld, according to searches in ThePeerage.com which links families.  Gerard Baden-Clay, through a relative who allegedly works for the Grants Committee of Legal Aid, has enlisted one of Brisbane’s most high-profile criminal defense teams to represent him at his upcoming murder trial.

http://thepeerage.com/p6368.htm

Genealogy Royal Noble Peer Duke Count Lord Baron Baronet Sir Database Family Tree Europe Nobility

http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/publications/Reports/annual-report/annual-report-archives/2009-10/Documents/LAQ-annual-report-2009-10-part-4.pdf (Please refer to Grants’ Committee – page 20).

Grants staff members Amy McClelland, Leanne Lester,
Brett Newsome, Erin Ames, Rachael Broadhurst, John Cuthbert,
Aditya Reddy, Kirsty Poljak, Daniel Coates, Emma Bennet,
and Alex Baden-Powell.

GBC will be represented by solicitor Peter Shields and barrister Michael Byrne QC as he fights the murder charge in the Supreme Court.

Peter Shields michael byrne cropped

Mr Shields                                        Michael Byrne QC

Mr Shields, a former police officer, is one of few accredited criminal specialist solicitors in Queensland.

Did Gerard Baden-Clay’s lawyers discontinue to represent Baden-Clay to enable family contacts, through Legal Aid’s Grant System, giving Gerard Baden-Clay, an accused wife killer, free representation, while using our Tax Dollars?

Should GBC be receiving special treatment?

Grub

Grub

(Source:  http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/publications/Reports/annual-report/annual-report-archives/annual-report-2010-11/our-systems-and-processes/PublishingImages/grants_2010_mHR_fmt.png)

Special Treatment involved for an Accused Killer: GBC enlists Defense Team allegedly using family contacts on Grants Committee


Dear Allison

Dear Allison – Imagine how her children feel.

Should Gerard Baden-Clay, accused wife killer, be given special treatment?

Gerard Baden Clay allegedly has family working for Legal Aid Qld, according to searches in ThePeerage.com which links families.  Gerard Baden-Clay, through a relative who allegedly works for the Grants Committee of Legal Aid, has enlisted one of Brisbane’s most high-profile criminal defense teams to represent him at his upcoming murder trial.

http://thepeerage.com/p6368.htm

Genealogy Royal Noble Peer Duke Count Lord Baron Baronet Sir Database Family Tree Europe Nobility

http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/publications/Reports/annual-report/annual-report-archives/2009-10/Documents/LAQ-annual-report-2009-10-part-4.pdf (Please refer to Grants’ Committee – page 20).

Grants staff members Amy McClelland, Leanne Lester,
Brett Newsome, Erin Ames, Rachael Broadhurst, John Cuthbert,
Aditya Reddy, Kirsty Poljak, Daniel Coates, Emma Bennet,
and Alex Baden-Powell.

GBC will be represented by solicitor Peter Shields and barrister Michael Byrne QC as he fights the murder charge in the Supreme Court.

Peter Shields michael byrne cropped

Mr Shields                                        Michael Byrne QC

Mr Shields, a former police officer, is one of few accredited criminal specialist solicitors in Queensland.

Did Gerard Baden-Clay’s lawyers discontinue to represent Baden-Clay to enable family contacts, through Legal Aid’s Grant System, giving Gerard Baden-Clay, an accused wife killer, free representation, while using our Tax Dollars?

Should GBC be receiving special treatment?

Grub

Grub

(Source:  http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/publications/Reports/annual-report/annual-report-archives/annual-report-2010-11/our-systems-and-processes/PublishingImages/grants_2010_mHR_fmt.png)

Time for a REMINDER about behaviour on this site…


BEFORE YOU CONTINUE, I ASK YOU VISIT THIS POST (PRESS ANYWHERE HERE) AND READ IT, AND ACKNOWLEDGE YOU HAVE DONE SO BY MAKING A COMMENT ON THAT POST

Hi folks, It has sadly come to my attention once again that the behavior of some people on this site have shown disregard for the guidelines I have tried to set, and or casually choose to ignore them, in particular, during my many absences of late, as I attended to my young baby son who has been in hospital after being born premature last month. he came home yesterday and we have been getting settled.

I have to say, I started this blog so I could highlight and discuss things that interested me, and of course others. It became successful as many many others popped in and shared the same ideas as I did.

Now having said that, I have to say, unfortunately I do not care whether you have been here for months and made 2 thousand comments, or one day and made 5. I will NOT tolerate the bad language, the bully tactics of some who like to dominate the discussion, and those who are quite  impolite in disagreeing with another contributors point of view.

How often have I politely said, it is how you say something that is important, not so much WHAT you have to say. As far as I am concerned it is not too much to ask on a community blog where we gather with common interests.

Because I want this to be read tonight, I am going to post it now, but shall be adding to it.

Those people I speak of in the above sentences, expect to hear from me over the next 24 hours, because you will find yourself banished from the place and I will block every comment you make to go directly to moderation, where it will sit, until I personally read it. Like a child would be treated who does not know how to behave.

I have put thousands and thousands of hours into this site over 2 years or so, and WILL NOT have anybody, no matter who they are, or what they have done here, to ruin it for everyone else, OR for the people who will come in the future.

This blog is not for “A self selected few” to take some sort of control over what can be discussed and which opinions are to reign supreme. You can always go start your own blogs…

To be frank I am quite upset at the moment because some who have been around for a while should know better. Forcing me to get rid of you is something I will SADLY do if I have to.

Finally, and most regrettably, I also have to add, just because someone has very kindly made a donation to my site, (for which I honestly am very grateful).

It does not give he or she any extra rights or privileges here. We are all equal and any assumed extra power or status or “Weight” on any opinion or topic would be incorrect and unfair  (for want of a better word, I’m not in a good head space ATM). I hope I have conveyed that clearly enough.

PS. I WILL SIT HERE ALL NIGHT IF I HAVE TO AND GO THROUGH ALL THE COMMENTS OF RECENT DAYS

You have all be warned

Sincerely

Owner and operator of Aussiecriminals

Robbo

 

Monika Samaan wins 5 year battle against KFC-Judge awards 8 million dollars


  • KFC said it would not comment further on the matter as it is now on appeal.
  • “It is a real pity that they will not abide by the umpire’s decision.”
  • KFC staff didn’t follow food rules – judge

Assholes should just accept that they had a dodgy store and bloody well pay up.No appeals no more bullshit.Accept the umpires decision and move on.This precious little girl was seven at the time and this has gone on since 2005…I’m disgusted…The owner of the actual store was quoted as saying he had trouble making workers adhere to health and safety rules…Tough Luck loser!!! This could have been your child now in a wheelchair!

I hope the family find some comfort and all the best to young Monika...

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KFC has been ordered to pay $8 million damages by a judge who found a young Sydney girl was left severely brain damaged after eating a Twister chicken wrap.

April 27, 2012

The family of Monika Samaan successfully sued the fast food giant, claiming the source of her salmonella poisoning was a Twister.

Her father told the NSW Supreme Court he bought the wrap on October 24, 2005, at the KFC outlet at Villawood, in Sydney’s west.

While Monika, her parents and her brother ended up in hospital with salmonella poisoning, the then seven-year-old was left severely brain-damaged and is effectively now a quadriplegic.

Today, Justice Stephen Rothman ordered KFC to pay $8 million damages plus legal costs.

Last Friday, he found KFC had breached its duty of care to the young girl.

KFC has indicated it will appeal.

In a statement, the family’s lawyer George Vlahakis said the family had been very relieved that the battle was over but was now very distressed by the appeal announcement.

“Monika’s severe brain damage and severe disability has already exhausted the very limited resources of the family,” he said.

“Monika is now a big girl and they are finding it increasingly difficult to lift her and to look after her basic needs as well as look after Monika’s younger siblings.

“The compensation ordered is very much needed.

“KFC have to date been determined that Monika does not receive a cent.”

KFC staff didn’t follow food rules – judge

By Nick Perry

AAP

April 22, 2012

STAFF at a Sydney KFC restaurant where a young girl was left severely brain damaged after eating a Twister wrap used to throw food around the kitchen and broke hygiene rules.

The family of Monika Samaan successfully sued KFC, claiming the then seven-year-old contracted salmonella after eating a chicken wrap in Villawood in 2005.

Judge Stephen Rothman found in favour of the family in the NSW Supreme Court last Friday.

In his judgment, Judge Rothman said strict food safety rules were not being followed by staff employed at the fast-food outlet at the time Monika fell ill.

He said KFC had breached its duty of care to the young girl, who is now a quadriplegic and severely brain damaged.

“But for the negligence of the staff, the harm to Monika would not have occurred,” Judge Rothman said in his judgement, which was published on the NSW Supreme Court website at the weekend.

The manager in charge of the Villawood KFC in 2005 told the court that getting staff to follow food safety procedures was a problem.

Some staff members also testified that they used to throw food around as a joke, saw chicken fall to the floor and people handling food without gloves on.

“The evidence was consistent that the standards set by KFC were not met during the latter half of 2005,” Judge Rothman said.

“The contamination has occurred because of the failure of one or more employees of KFC to adhere to that procedure.”

An assessment of the restaurant conducted at the time Monika ate the Twister found it was operating at “breakdown” level and scored just 51 out of a possible 100 points for criteria including cleanliness, the court heard.

Cleaning checklists were apparently not being used by staff and many were not following hand-washing procedures.

Judge Rothman said some staff might not have been fully aware of the potential consequences of not following the strict procedures around food safety.

“Nevertheless, the conduct of the employee was negligent and KFC, as the employer, is vicariously liable for the negligence,” he said.

KFC has vowed to appeal the decision, a move the Samaan family has criticised.

“They (KFC) represent themselves as great sponsors of cricket in Australia,” the family’s lawyer George Vlahakis said in a statement.

“It is a real pity that they will not abide by the umpire’s decision.”

Family of Monika Samaan, who became ill after eating KFC Twister, wins court case

By Nick Perry

AAP

April 20, 2012

 

Family wins case after girl, 7, suffered brain damage

KFC says evidence shows it did not cause tragedy-Vows to appeal the NSW Supreme Court decision

A SYDNEY father who claimed his daughter was left severely brain damaged from salmonella poisoning after eating a KFC Twister has won a court battle against the fast-food chain.

The family of Monika Samaan brought a multimillion-dollar compensation bid against KFC in the New South Wales Supreme Court, claiming the then seven-year-old became ill after eating the chicken wrap in Sydney’s west in 2005.

KFC denied the claim but this afternoon Justice Stephen Rothman found in favour of the family in the NSW Supreme Court.

KFC has vowed to appeal the ruling.

In a statement, the restaurant said the case was clearly tragic but they were “deeply disappointed and surprised” by Judge Rothman’s decision.

“We believe the evidence showed KFC did not cause this tragedy and, after reviewing the judgment and seeking further advice from our lawyers, we have decided to appeal Justice Rothman’s decision,” KFC Australia’s chief corporate affairs officer Sally Glover said.

“We feel deeply for Monika and the Samaan family, however, we also have a responsibility to defend KFC’s reputation as a provider of safe, high-quality food.”

In their statement, KFC did not refer to the judge having made any assessment yet of the damages to be awarded to the family.

During a four-week trial in 2010, Monika’s father Amanwial Samaan told the court he and his wife Hanna, son Abanou and Monika all fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea after sharing the Twister.

Monika, who was in a coma for six months and in hospital for seven, is effectively now a quadriplegic and severely brain damaged.

She took the NSW Supreme Court action through her father.

KFC’s lawyer, Ian Barker QC, argued there “never was a shared Twister” because there was no sales data to prove the family purchased it.

“You did not tell anyone at the hospital, when you were there between October 27 and 29, that you had shared a KFC Twister that Monday,” Mr Barker said in the NSW Supreme Court in July 2010.

“Because there was no direct question at me,” Mr Samaan replied.

He also accused Mr Samaan of thinking KFC “might be an easy target”.

But the family’s barrister, Anthony Bartley SC, presented evidence about KFC food practices that were “disturbing and unsettling”.

“If the store was particularly busy, then even if chicken dropped on the floor… it was on some occasions simply put back into the burger station from where it had fallen,” he said.

He told the court Monika, who had been a bright girl, could now feed herself to a limited extent but wears a nappy and goes to a special school.

Her father had given up his job as a forklift driver so he could help look after her.

The judgment was not listed for delivery at the NSW Supreme Court today but a decision was handed down unexpectedly about 4.30pm, a KFC spokesperson said.

KFC said it would not comment further on the matter as it is now on appeal.

KFC chicken Twister in $10m lawsuit

July 20, 2010

A FATHER suing KFC for more than $10 million over a Chicken Twister he claimed left his daughter brain damaged told a court yesterday his family had eaten other chicken meals that week.

Monika Samaan, who was left severely brain damaged, is suing the fast food giant through her father Aman-wial, claiming the source of her salmonella poisoning was a Twister bought at a Villawood outlet, in Sydney, in October 2005.

Mr Samaan told the Supreme Court yesterday his family ate chicken at least three times that week, including a schnitzel he had cooked himself. He said he was always “very clean” when he cooked chicken at home.

“I do not think my chicken schnitzel that I cooked at home caused my family illness because my wife did not eat this meal but my mother ate it and didn’t feel unwell.”

He said he, wife Hanna, son Abanou and Monika, then seven, all fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea after sharing the Twister. KFC denies the source of Monika’s poisoning was one of its products.

Punters around Australia…READ THIS CON-You may never bet again


Punters around Australia…READ THIS CON…You will be flabbergasted…

AS Aussies we all love a bet…WE bet on the Winner don’t we? I do… I’m not talking about betfair and laying….NO that’s too hard…I cannot comprehend how this has not made NATIONAL HEADLINES…I assure you it will.

The Tassie Government cannot sell the white Elephant that turned over BILLIONS a few years ago

You may not be aware, even care that the Tassie tote (TAB for most of us) has basically gone broke after turning over millions, billions even. So why have they made fuck all,  these last few years?

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GOT A REBATE ON YOUR LOSING BET FELLOW PUNTER? Cannot remember, yeah because you never get one…But if you happen to turn over millions like a certain secretive dude known as THE BIGGEST INDIVIDUAL PUNTER THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN and live in Tassie (But who the hell knows where else) MEANS you are the recipient of massive rebates us stupid AUSSIE PUNTERS can only ever dream about.THAT will make your eyes and LOSING TICKETS jump back out of the BIN…It is ALL about LOSING in this SCAM that our own GOVERNMENT BOOKIES cheated us with…

A rare photo of Zeljko Ranogajec

Just quickly, this bloke Zeljko Ranogajec.was a big punter, and demanded, INSISTED he is entitled to losing rebates because of how much he turned over. Sort of sounds cool…BUT he conned the Government to keep paying rebates on even losing bets. He worked out losing was better than winning with this little tax-free scam happening which happened to be run by the Australian Government in Tasmania. Do not rub your eyes, he turned over wagers worth an astonishing $1 billion on racing each year. He rebates, were a mind-boggling…

From 2007 onwards the government-owned TOTE Tasmania (TT) began reporting impressive growth in its wagering business.

Over the next four years its parimutuel turnover would nearly triple to an impressive $937 million in 2011.

Despite nearly $1 billion in turnover, TOTE Tasmania could manage just $1.5 million in profit last year.

The gambler AKA Zeljko Ranogajec. John Wilson and Mrs Wilson of course

The following story is from last week’s Financial Review and takes a close look at the betting activities of Australia’s biggest punter.

It was hardly a difficult question, nor one that invited clarification.

But when one of Australia’s most secretive men was asked to state his name at the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney there was a moment of confusion.

“My name is John Wilson … and I am an investor,” he told the court.

That was not, as it emerged, the only name he answers to.

After prompting from counsel, the witness confirmed he was also known as Zeljko Ranogajec.

It’s a name few would recognise, even though Ranogajec would count as one of the world’s biggest gamblers. His vast wealth and incredible power has been achieved in an arena beloved by Australians – horse racing – but he has never given an interview, has rarely been photographed and many of his long-time employees have not even met him.

To racing insiders, however, the man known simply as “Z” is an almost mythical figure – loathed and admired in equal parts.

Born in Hobart, this 50-year-old son of Croatian immigrants controls an empire that wagers an astonishing $1 billion on racing each year. Yet the closest thing to a public profile for Ranogajec comes via his old friend and fellow gambler, Tasmanian art collector David Walsh, who built the ambitious Museum of Old and New Art outside Hobart.

The pair have prospered since their university days, but recently Ranogajec’s gambling empire has come under threat.

The Australian Taxation Office is known to be once again looking into Ranogajec’s affairs and he told associates last year that it is demanding about $900 million for 10 years of back taxes, penalties and interest.

Ranogajec, who is thought to have relocated to London, is not available for comment.

And just as the ATO is giving him a good-looking over, so too are everyday punters and racing professionals, who are beginning to grasp the sheer scale of the incentives given to his betting syndicate by TABs across Australia.

These incentives, not available to ordinary punters, almost brought down Tote Tasmania last year and threaten to undermine how the racing industry is funded.

The story of how Ranogajec built a system that has ended up in controversy and litigation starts in the United States, where his business became so large it attracted the attention of regulators and attorneys working for former New York governor Eliott Spitzer.

They had grave concerns about how syndicates such as his work.

Despite this industry-wide notoriety, up until now little has been known about how Ranogajec operates. But previously unseen court files, obtained by the Weekend Financial Review, provide a window into this normally opaque world and to what Walsh has described as a “money mine”.

Ironically, the assiduously private Ranogajec outed himself when he brought a commercial dispute to court in 2008.

His legal action, designed to claw back $2.5 million from his former bookmaker Karl O’Farrell, meant the court ended up hearing the gritty details of how his gambling operation worked. It offered a close-up of the deals that delivered his fortune. And it was all on the public record.

What could have possessed Ranogajec to expose himself will never be known but it is inexplicable given what he previously told O’Farrell.

“We like to keep our dealings secretive. Nothing in writing,” Ranogajec told O’Farrell, according to his written evidence filed in the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney.

In the course of the case, which was not reported at the time, the court heard how Ranogajec had convinced totes around the world to provide him with giant rebates or subsidies in return for his betting dollar. These deals enabled Ranogajec to win even when he picked the wrong horse.

That was a revelation to federal magistrate Rolf Driver, who heard the case.

“Surprisingly, the syndicate apparently makes most of its money by placing losing bets,” he said.

Ranogajec expanded on this during his evidence to the court. He was talking about racing in the US but it’s a model he has used successfully the world over.

“You bet to lose, so that you actually turn over more money and the win comes from the rebates,” he told the court.

“So we may not necessarily have won. I don’t know off the top of my head whether we won [excluding rebates] or not.”

Whatever the outcome, it was certainly lucrative.

From an outlay of just $200,000, Ranogajec confirmed to the court that his syndicate had earned $44?million from betting on US races over a 3½-year period. In addition, he claimed to be owed a further $8.5 million in rebates from O’Farrell’s bookmaking company Capital Play, which was licensed to take bets on US races.

That would have taken the syndicate’s earnings to about $52?million over that period.

This is surely successful punting, yet in the US, Ranogajec’s system was based on rebates, not picking winners.

To understand rebates and how it’s possible to win from losing, the mechanics of pari-mutuel betting needs to be explained. It is standard?practice for totes around the world to take out between 15?per cent and 20 per cent of all money wagered.

Due to this “take out” it is considered almost impossible for the average gambler to come out in front over any length of time.

But Ranogajec is not your average gambler.

Due to his sheer size he has persuaded the totes to pay him “rebates” or “loyalty payments”.

In the US, the syndicate received an average rebate of 13 per cent on all losing bets, according to court documents.

From there the maths is pretty simple, as Ranogajec told the court.

“If you bet $100 and lost $5, but you get a 10 per cent rebate, you still make 5 per cent,” he said.

That means the more money you can turn over, the more money that comes back to you in rebates. And so it becomes a matter of ensuring that any losses are less than the amount rebated.

The court documents show that just 15 per cent of what the syndicate earned from US racing over that 3½-year period was from selecting the right horses.

Their winnings on a correct punt were just $8 million – a figure dwarfed by the $44?million earned from losing bets with rebates attached.

It was a perfect system that only came unstuck when O’Farrell allegedly refused to pass on all the rebates the syndicate felt it was owed by Capital Play.

In response, Ranogajec called in a $2.5 million loan advanced to O’Farrell, who was eventually bankrupted by the court.

In his effort to get his money back from O’Farrell, it became clear that Ranogajec was very keen to impress on the court that his syndicate was “not a business”.

In his words, it was a “punters club” or just a “collection of individuals” who came together to bet.

This modest description does no justice to the scale of his enterprise. The syndicate employs about 300 people at its offices in Hobart and Sydney and it runs a global gambling operation that places bets on races in Japan, Hong Kong, England, Australia and the US.

The betting system relies on computer models driven by complex algorithms that place thousands of bets, worth millions of dollars, in the final minutes before the horses jump.

In Australia the syndicate is known to win in its own right, while in the US the operation relied on rebates.

But during his legal battle with O’Farrell, it became clear that the paying of rebates was something of a legal grey area in the US.

While not unlawful, they were prohibited by some state racing authorities.

Regulators had been concerned for some time about the probity of so-called rebate shops such as O’Farrell’s Capital Play and the type of clients they attracted.

In fact, Ranogajec and Capital Play were one and the same, as his syndicate was its only customer and financial backer.

“Rebate shops have for some time been associated with illegal activities such as race fixing, money laundering and tax evasion,” said a 2008 report commissioned on the industry by former New York governor Eliot Spitzer said.

The report mentioned Capital Play extensively but made no specific allegations against the company.

It also named Ranogajec and his wife, Shelley Wilson, as being associated with Capital Play and claimed regulators in the ACT, where Capital Play was based, paid the couple little attention.

“The screening of individual betters, in particular with respect to the nature of their businesses, backgrounds, and sources of funds, is limited,” the report said.

Eventually, the New York Racing Association cut off Capital Play’s access to betting pools at the Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga racetracks.

Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky soon took the same action. No specific reason was given but, despite persistent protests from Capital Play, its access was never restored.

O’Farrell said that the termination was “without merit” and was “driven by the New York Racing Association’s attempt to remediate its own serious integrity problems.”

That failed to sway the regulators and the report to Spitzer said there were “serious risks associated with rebate shops”.

“By betting consistently on races where the risk of loss is known to be relatively slight, money can easily be laundered,” the report said.

With no access to the major US racetracks, that was the end for Capital Play.

But just as regulators in the US were raising concerns about how the likes of Ranogajec operated, he was being welcomed warmly by TABs in Australia.

Ranogajec’s home state of Tasmania was the most aggressive enthusiast.

From 2007 onwards the government-owned TOTE Tasmania (TT) began reporting impressive growth in its wagering business.

Over the next four years its pari-mutuel turnover would nearly triple to an impressive $937 million in 2011.

But the spike in revenue turned out to be profitless growth.

Despite nearly $1 billion in turnover, TOTE Tasmania could manage just $1.5 million in profit last year.

This gap between turnover and profit was due to aggressive rebating to the likes of Ranogajec. His syndicate did not actually bankrupt TT, but it made it unprofitable.

That lack of profitability may have explained the sudden sale of TT in December for $103 million, despite public assurances from the?Tasmanian government just three months earlier that it had no?intention of selling the business.

Tatts Group, which operates the tote in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, was the buyer and its chief executive, Dick McIlwain, was scathing of TT’s strategy.

“They gave all the profits away,” he says.

“They [TT] rebated the backside out of the business until there was nothing left.”

A recent Macquarie Equities report estimated that TT was paying an average rebate of 10.5 per cent to punters such as Ranogajec.

That’s aggressive in the extreme, given TT takes out only 14.8 per cent from win and place bets and 20 per cent on so-called exotics such as trifectas.

But while TT was floundering, syndicates such as Ranogajec’s were doing very nicely. Calculations provided to the Weekend Financial Review by someone with intimate knowledge of the TT business estimated the tote paid out $45?million in rebates last financial year.

“Most of that would have been to?Zeljko [Ranogajec],” said the source.

But his syndicate appears to have been living off more than rebates.

A line item in the latest TT annual report showed that Tasmanian punters, or perhaps one in particular, was highly successful.

TT reported that $69.1 million had been booked in “settlements from other TABs”. Once again, it’s thought Ranogajec’s syndicate would have reaped a good proportion of this.

“These guys made money consistently, they were not just living off the rebates,” says the source with knowledge of Ranogajec’s betting patterns.

Insiders say TT began by offering rebates of about 2.5 per cent in 2007, but the more money bet by the syndicates, the more they demanded in rebates.

“It became a race to the bottom,” according to McIlwain.

By June 30 last year it was clear that TT had all but destroyed its own business, by offering increasingly larger rebates to the likes of Ranogajec.

The nature of racing is also such that not everyone can win – it’s a zero sum gain.

In fact, the more Ranogajec won, the less was left for other punters.

This is McIlwain’s main gripe.

“They are giving money back in rebates to punters so they can screw over the betting pools,” he says.

“The ordinary punter is subsidising these guys.”

The result has been a devastating one for the weekend gambler.

The sheer weight of money from Ranogajec, facilitated by rebates, has flattened out the odds and means that any wins enjoyed by punters are far smaller than in years past.

It should be remembered that Ranogajec bets in all states, it’s just that TT was the biggest provider of rebates.

“The recreational gambler is losing their money faster,” McIlwain says.

“And if you take their money away from them too quickly, then they lose interest.”

Taken to its logical end, it could mean smaller betting pools and less money to fund the racing industry.

That is yet to happen and McIlwain is determined to end the massive rebates offered by TT when he takes control of the business in March.

But TT is not alone in providing the rebates.

“Tasmania started this odyssey and it has spread like a disease,” says McIlwain.

“Western Australia is now very heavily into it, although they would probably deny it.”

The Tabcorp-owned NSW and Victorian TABs also provide rebates, which are thought to be between 5?per cent and 6 per cent.

McIlwain says that “dimwit governments” have facilitated the “ripping off” of ordinary punters by passing legislation allowing the paying of rebates.

“Tasmania was OK until others started doing it [paying rebates] – then it became a fight to the bottom,” he says.

And the Tasmanian example shows that the only winners are the likes of Ranogajec and his syndicate.

It’s no wonder that David Walsh described the betting system as a money mine.

David Walsh, Tasmanian Reclusive Punter and Multi-Millionaire and Museum Owner

That appears no exaggeration, given that it funded Walsh’s $180?million Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) outside Hobart.

In the introduction to his book Monanisms, released when the gallery opened last January, Walsh gave a typically oblique description of his working life:

“I invent a gambling system. Make a money mine. Turns out it ain’t so great getting rich using someone else’s idea. Particularly before he had it. What to do? Better build a museum; make myself famous. That will get the chicks,” he wrote.

MONA has certainly made Walsh famous but it has also put the spotlight on Ranogajec, who would prefer to have no public profile at all.

That’s surely why he didn’t want to disclose his real name, even when asked in court.