$18M streak of misery discovered over bankrupt former cryptocurrency founder
A trail of $18 million in financial misery has been uncovered in relation to former bankrupt Robert Tidy, including a string of his failed business ventures.
Tidy’s lifestyle resembles that of a billionaire, with first-class flights and luxury hotels all posted on social media.
But he now has an even larger number of burnt-out investors who want their money back after his latest venture, called Zipett, also collapsed this week.
“Guys, it is with the heaviest heart that I have to be honest and update you all with news from overseas,” he wrote in an email to investors informing them that the latest Zipett project was “completed for the time being”.
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The development comes just over two weeks after A Current Affair first raised question marks over Tidy’s abysmal financial history, leading it to file for bankruptcy three times.
A balance sheet from his 2007 bankruptcy reveals $5.1 million in unpaid debts to 28 creditors, the largest being his father, the late Colin Tidy, a well-known Sydney bookie.
Its bankruptcy in 2018 contained $7.9 million owed, including nearly $1 million to the Australian tax authorities.
There’s also another $3.2 million in investor money in one of his failed cryptocurrency ventures called Bartercoin.
And an additional $2.2 million in Zipett coins that also haven’t been released.
ASIC research reveals that Robert Colin Tidy has served as a director of 21 different companies, 16 of which are now either delisted or under outside administration.
He was also the driver of a $365,000 company-owned Lamborghini, which was written off after crashing on the Pacific Highway.
Since he began investigating Tidy’s affairs, A Current Affair has received more than 50 emails from investors wishing they had never met him.
Jennifer Hercules and Eric Buckley are one of the biggest individual investors affected by Tidy’s failed business ventures with losses totaling over $1 million, including part of his retirement pension.
“Our whole world has collapsed,” Hercules said, holding back tears.
“He completely devastated me, I have sleepless nights, I have nightmares,” she said.
“He dashed our hopes of having the life we worked so hard for and saved so hard for.”
Buckley said he has some simple advice for anyone considering investing with Tidy.
“And that’s a) don’t believe a word he says. And b) don’t believe a word he says. He promises you the world and delivers nothing.”
Women who claim to be former girlfriends of Tidy have also revealed he splurged on gambling, telling one he lost up to $250,000 in a single day.
Tidy publicly posted some of his winning bets on his Instagram account, claiming the bets were for his Punters Club.
But Tidy shouldn’t be playing in this country at all, he had been disqualified from betting with any Australian betting operator since 1997 due to a betting ‘default’.
A Current Affair also obtained videos and images distributed by Tidy among its group of investors showing 179 bets worth $168,000 in a single day.
A former Tidy’s staffer who asked that they be hidden said he saw him playing at the Townsville casino when it was bankrupt.
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“So we’re probably talking about $5,000 to $10,000 in casinos on slots.”
The former staffer also said he doubts that 10% of profits from some of his various businesses go to charity, as Tidy claims.
“I’ve never seen a penny go to charity and I don’t believe there’s ever been a penny to charity.”
When A Current Affair confronted Tidy at a Sydney hotel last month, he claimed to have donated “easily over $300,000” and named Youth Off The Streets as the recipient of “maybe $100,000”.
Father Chris Riley told A Current Affair “there is no indication” that anyone by the name of Robert Tidy “has ever donated to Youth Off The Streets.”
Tidy provided a 25-year-old note saying he once paid for children and charity staff to attend a game on the home state all the way back in 1997.
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Hercules and Buckley claim they were unaware of Tidy’s questionable financial background or the extent of his gambling until they invested
The Sunshine Coast couple were taken on a fishing trip by Tidy and also had lunch and dinner at expensive restaurants, even celebrating their birthday with him.
“He said we were his family that he never had,” Buckley said.
They claim Tidy eventually started offering investment insights, suggesting it would be best to sell stocks and invest with him “because money would be a lot safer with him.”
When the project finally fell apart, Tidy explained in an email that they knew the investment was “going to be VERY AGGRESSIVE”.
Hercule claims he told her it would be “minimal risk” and that he wouldn’t have invested if she had known it was very aggressive.
Tidy responded to a series of questions via email, saying he “didn’t say there was no risk” in relation to the Hercules investment.
He also said his trustee in bankruptcy was told about his gambling, which involved placing bets for other people.
He admitted gambling at the Townsville casino while bankrupt, which he claims his trustee approved.
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