I took over firm legally: Mokbel partner

A MELBOURNE company director has told the Supreme Court he wanted to rescue a floundering Essendon property development to help convicted drug lord Tony Mokbel's former girlfriend, Danielle McGuire.

A MELBOURNE company director has told the Supreme Court he wanted to rescue a floundering Essendon property development to help convicted drug lord Tony Mokbel's former girlfriend, Danielle McGuire.

Jack Smit, Mokbel's long-time business partner and the director of 15 companies, said he was frustrated he "couldn't get to the bottom" of the company's dire financial situation after Ms McGuire asked him to take control.

Mr Smit told the court he believed he was in charge of the company even though he had not lodged the appropriate directorship forms with ASIC. He claims the woman from whom he took over as director, Jennifer Shaw, handed him the signed resignation form in May, allowing him to take control.

But she denies handing him any such form at the Nursery Cafe in Essendon, the site of the proposed development. She says a blank form she had signed to make somebody else a director was improperly obtained, and she was unlawfully replaced by Mr Smit.

"I have become the director in the right manner, I haven't done the wrong thing, I haven't lied or cheated," Mr Smit told Associate Justice Rodney Randall yesterday. Asked if he had put money into the development for anyone else, Mr Smit said he had bought an apartment and was looking at purchasing another with his superannuation money.

The legal dispute is about the development's funds, with Associate Justice Randall to determine whether Mrs Shaw or Mr Smit was the company's director before a civil trial.

The hearing continues next week.

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