Jonathon Fiore fights probe push as dad Peter strikes truce on contempt, muscle charges

Headshot of Neale Prior
Neale PriorThe West Australian
Jonathon Fiore.
Camera IconJonathon Fiore. Credit: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

Regal Theatre management company Interstar wants to publicly probe Fortescue Metals Group money cruncher Jonathan Fiore despite reaching a partial-truce with his trouble-prone dad Peter.

Lawyers for Interstar argue public questioning of Jonathon about the affairs of family trust company Fiore Group Pty Ltd remains central to their push to recover $850,000-plus for Interstar over a failed overseas investment in March 2020.

Interstar last week ended a contempt of court action against Peter for evidence given by the 60-year-old dental surgeon turned investment promoter during a Supreme Court examination in December last year.

In an unrelated matter, Peter struck a plea deal with Victorian prosecutors in May over his alleged role with two Melbourne heavies and a Perth associate in trying to collect a drug debt in suburban Melbourne.

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After originally fighting aggravated burglary and multiple extortion charges, Peter eventually pleaded guilty in the County Court to just a single charge of common assault.

Judge Scott Johns imposed a $7000 fine on Peter in June but ruled no conviction be recorded.

The investment promoter, who was bankrupt from 2013 until May 2020, remains a defendant to the Supreme Court action by Interstar over a scheme where the Regal management company would supposedly double its $850,000 investment in a month.

However, Peter is believed to have few assets in his own name to pay any potential Supreme Court judgment, and the Interstar legal team is instead focusing on whether Fiore Group has assets worth chasing.

The case was before Justice Gail Archer on Wednesday to outline the filing of submissions ahead of a potential public examination of Jonathan being sought by Interstar’s legal team at Hotchkin Hanly.

Fiore Group has hired veteran Perth lawyer Kevin Dundo to fight Hotchkin Hanly’s attacks on the trust company.

The proposed public examination of Jonathan is unrelated to his work as corporate finance officer at Fortescue, whose deputy chair Mark Barnaba is a cousin of Peter.

Hotchkin Hanly partner Nick Kalmund said outside court the proposed public examination related to a disclosure affidavit provided by Jonathan as a director of Fiore Group.

Mr Kalmund said Interstar’s legal team had come into possession of other documents suggesting possible discrepancies about Fiore Group’s assets.

He said the contempt action against Peter had been settled on a confidential basis.

Orders stamped by Justice Archer on July 15 record the contempt action as being dismissed with no cost orders between Interstar and Peter.

All previous cost orders in the contempt action have been dropped.

Any legal arguments over whether Jonathan should be subject to a public examination will not be heard until at least September.

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