News this morning confirms that Rinehart’s three eldest children have turned to wealthy associates and backers to help fund the case to have their mother removed as the trustee of the $4 billion family trust.
Over the past couple of months, John Hancock and sisters Hope Welker and Bianca Rinehart have sought the help of a number of high-profile businessmen to help pay their mounting legal bills, the Australian Financial Review has revealed.
Since the start of the legal proceedings against their mother, all three children have been cut off financially from the family trust.
Now it appears the estranged children have been successful in raising the cash necessary, in the form of loans and donations, to proceed with their long running legal battle against their mother.
Gina’s enormous wealth however carries with it significant power and the matriarch has shown she is not afraid to wield her influence.
Perhaps those bold enough to enter the fray on the children’s side have a score to settle with Gina or are positioning themselves for a future succession scenario.
Whatever is going on, any businessman entering the family dispute would want to have good reasons to do so as they would be positioning themselves against Australia richest person.
Case back in court in March
The case returns to court next month, and as with most of Mrs Rinehart’s legal battles, is more than likely going to be a drawn out and expensive affair.
The Hancock children’s case centres on the accusation that their mother has breached her duty as trustee of the family's trust set up by Gina’s late father Lang Hancock. The trust owns 23.4 per cent of the family company Hancock Prospecting.
The trust was due to vest when youngest daughter Ginia, who has sided with her mother in the dispute, turned 25. Ginia reached this age in 2011 but Mrs Rinehart withheld the trust money claiming that her children faced bankruptcy from associated costs of the trust vesting.
Gina denies any wrongdoing, and claims that she actually upheld her duty of protecting her children’s inheritance. This is hard to argue against as Gina has turned around a badly in debt iron-ore business into a $29 billion empire and increased the value of the trust’s assets by some 40,000 per cent.
Children cut off financially
While John has not received distributions from the family trust for several years, his sisters payments ceased as their legal action against their mother began.
The trio scraped together about $300,000 in trust income and other savings to pay the costs of the litigation, before turning to outside help.
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