Judge orders hunt for McGurk case witness
September 30, 2010
THE head of the Sydney chapter of the Hells Angels will be called as a key witness in a mortgage fraud trial involving associates of the murdered conman Michael McGurk.
That is, if they can find him.
The NSW Supreme Court was told yesterday that Felix Lyle would be called to give evidence over four days in December.
But lawyers acting for the lender who lost money in the scam have yet to track down the 53-year-old. Given their outlaw status, bikies have in the past been unenthusiastic about co-operating with the authorities.
Justice Michael Adams yesterday asked the barrister Greg Sirtes, acting for Perpetual Trustees Victoria, if he had contacted Mr Lyle. ''We have not, your honour,'' Mr Sirtes said.
''We've made some inquiries, and we have undertaken an electoral roll search.''
But Mr Lyle did not appear on the roll, he said.
Justice Adams suggested lawyers might try tracking him down at the Gas Nightclub in Sydney's central business district, which Mr Lyle is purported to own. Or perhaps they could track him through the club's liquor licence, he suggested.
Perpetual Trustees Victoria lost $437,000 in 2005 after a lender's signature was forged by associates of Terrence Reddy, a conman who worked for Mr McGurk in the mortgage business.
Mr Reddy has already given evidence as part of the civil hearing. He admitted he was a part of the scam, but he blamed Mr Lyle for stealing the money. If Mr Lyle can be found, he will be forced to appear as a witness over four days from December 20.
Before joining the Hells Angels last year Mr Lyle was without a club for seven years. Before 2002 he headed the most powerful Sydney chapter of the rival Bandidos. While president, he was charged with - and acquitted of - an alleged ecstasy conspiracy.
The NSW Crime Commission froze a $3 million Sydney property portfolio only to discover that Mr Lyle had artificially inflated its worth.
Mr Lyle was bankrupted last year over a failed hotel project in Kings Cross. He described himself in the bankruptcy filing as a ''project manager''. He said he had only $100 in cash.