PERPETUAL Trustees Australia has settled a High Court case brought by the brother of the late attorney-general Paul Landa at the eleventh hour, avoiding a potentially damaging judgment over its handling of a $15 million fraud case.
Mr Landa's brother Barry, daughter Sophie, brother-in-law Tom Sendro and the estates of his mother-in-law Klari Sendro and wife Anne, a noted philanthropist, lost about $6 million to the convicted fraudster Dominic Cincotta.
The court was due to hand down its decision today in the case in which Dr Barry Landa, a Vaucluse doctor, sued Perpetual for $2.7 million in cheques he says the company cashed despite knowing the Cincotta account was suspect.
The settlement is understood to be close to $3 million, but Dr Landa, when contacted last night, said he was prohibited by a confidentiality clause from commenting on the matter.
Other Landa family members are seeking $2 million-plus for losses incurred by Mr Sendro, Sophie Landa and the estates of Mrs Landa and Mrs Sendro in the NSW Supreme Court. It is not known if these matters were privately settled also.
Cincotta was sentenced to five years' jail in 2008 after pleading guilty to seven charges involving more than $6.5 million stolen from investors in Sydney and Coffs Harbour.
A mortgage agent, he had promised investors up to 10.75 per cent with Perpetual Trustees Australia.
Dr Landa won in the NSW Supreme Court, which found Perpetual had breached its duty of care by not establishing and following cheque guidelines.
He went to the High Court after the result was overturned in the NSW Court of Appeal. Perpetual Trustees were uncontactable last night for comment.
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