The glamorous daughter of a controversial property developer and partner in a successful law firm has allegedly been involved in a $150m fraud.
Downing Centre Local Court heard 28-year-old Ashlyn Nassif, the daughter of Jean Nassif, allegedly dishonestly obtained an “incredibly substantial” amount of money and falsified documents in relation to the construction of the Skyview apartments in Sydney’s northwest.
Reading from police facts, Magistrate Greg Grogan said on December 8, 2021, Ms Nassif submitted fake contracts to meet a $10.5m pre-sale condition for the Sky View apartments in Castle Hill.
Subsequently, it is alleged she dishonestly obtained a $150 million loan to fund one of Sydney’s biggest apartment projects.
The daughter of Jean Nassif (left), Ashlyn Nassif (centre), has faced court. Picture: Facebook
Magistrate Grogan said the allegations were “extremely serious” given Ms Nassif was in the position of a legal practitioner in the NSW Supreme Court, the large amount of money involved and the fact it “seems to be part of a sophisticated and planned situation”.
The alleged fraud relates specifically to three of the five Skyview towers, which consist of about 960 “luxurious” apartments.
Ms Nassif, who is a partner in law firm EA Legal, was granted bail after police prosecutor Kerry-Ann McKinnon did not oppose defence lawyer Greg Stanton’s application.
There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the firm.
Ms Nassif’s lawyer Greg Stanton (right) and her supporters at court. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts
Under the strict bail conditions, Ms Nassif must not contact 24 people who are linked to the proceedings, live at her mother’s Chiswick home while abiding by a 9pm-6am curfew, surrender her passport and stay away from international and domestic departure points.
She must also report to Burwood Police Station daily.
Among those she cannot contact include her flamboyant property developer father, Jean Nassif but there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part.
Ms Nassif was arrested on Tuesday morning and has not entered pleas to the two charges of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception and publishing false or misleading material to obtain an advantage.
The arrest followed four search warrants at businesses in Sydney’s CBD and Concord, as well as at a home in Chiswick, police said.
Ashlyn Nassif (left) and her father Jean Nassif (right)
Ms Nassif’s father, Jean Nassif, famously gifted his wife a $480k Lamborghini.
A glamorous Ms Nassif faced the court via video link and waved her handcuffed hands to her support group, which included her mum, sister and fiancé.She became emotional as Magistrate Grogan told her there was a large group of journalists in the courtroom who would “no doubt” be reporting on her case.
It has been a turbulent couple of years for the Nassif family.
Separately to Ashlyn Nassif’s criminal matter, her father is being sought by a parliamentary inquiry investigating allegations of impropriety over development moves at a Sydney council.
Mr Nassif was due to be a key witness in the upper house inquiry assessing decisions at the Hills Shire Council, but wrote to the committee saying he was overseas and could not appear to give evidence last month.
Mr Nassif with his wife Nissy Nassif. Picture: Instagram.com
He strenuously denied the allegations that sparked the probe.
Last December, Mr Nassif had his development licence suspended for 10 years by NSW Fair Trading in December and his company Toplace permanently backlisted after being found guilty of improper conduct.
But on January 10, he won a stay of the ban in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal until a review of that decision takes place.
Toplace and Mr Nassif can keep operating in the meantime, but cannot take on new contracts without approval from NCAT and the Commissioner of Fair Trading, the tribunal heard.
The couple went viral after exchanging quite the expensive Valentine’s Day gift. Picture: Instagram
In 2019, 54-year-old Mr Nassif blew up on social media for gifting his 34-year-old wife Nissering ‘Nissy’ Nassif quite the luxurious Valentine’s Day present — a $480,000 yellow Lamborghini.
The famously captioned video read: “Congratulations Mrs Nassif … you like?”
Two years later, Mr Nassif was charged with two counts of common assault and attempted intimidation against his wife, but these charges were withdrawn after Mrs Nassif failed to appear in court.
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The court heard she was in Lebanon and could not be contacted despite being subpoenaed.
Ashlyn Nassif will next face Downing Centre Local Court on March 15 when the case will be referred to the DPP for prosecution.
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