High profile lawyer in legal fee stoush

A Queensland lawyer has been dragged into a criminal case against two former employees.

High-profile lawyer Chris Nyst has pulled into a criminal case after two former Nyst Lawyers employees were charged with conducting transactions to avoid reporting requirements and perverting the course of justice.

Allegations arose about Nyst’s own conduct, suggesting he told a client to pay her legal fees in a way which would have avoided detection, a report by the Courier Mail said.  Nyst wrote and produced the movie, ‘Getting’ Square’.

Jason Murakami and Ron Behlau were allegedly engaged in a ‘structuring’ they believed would avoid detection by the Federal Government’s financial intelligence unit, by banking sums of less than $10,000.  It is alleged it was a deliberate move to prevent authorities from seizing proceeds of crime.

Rosemary Gardner has instructed Nyst to act for her on drug supply charges four years ago.  She told the Crime and Misconduct Commission that Nyst had told her to pay in sums of less than $10,000 at a time.

“Chris gave me those instructions, right from the start,” she allegedly told the CMC at the time.

At yesterday’s hearing she told the court she had paid about $60,000 to the firm but backed away from the claim.

“I can’t recall the specifics of who it was, actually,” she told the court yesterday, saying someone at the office told her that if she brought in more than $10,000 it would be split.

The firm’s former bookkeeper gave evidence, saying he did not give instructions for any payments to be split in order to avoid detection.
Nyst is not facing charges in relation to the investigation.

The hearing was adjourned until August 31 when Magistrate Noel Nunan is expected to hand down a decision on whether Murakami and Behlau would be committed to stand trial.

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