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Former Nu-Tec secretary speaks out -

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Former Nu-Tec secretary speaks out

Reporter: Emma Alberici

KERRY O'BRIEN: Last night we brought you the story of Nu-Tec, the high-tech scheme promoted by
Gregory Symons using one of Australia's most prominent scientists as the bait to reel in the
investors. Gregory Symons acquired notoriety back in 1992 in the Marshall Islands where he was
jailed for forging government documents related to a migration scheme. Fast forward 13 years and Mr
Symons is spinning tales again using big accounting firms and a scientist's reputation to give him
credibility. Over four and a half year he managed to accumulate $3 million for his venture.

Tonight, Nu-Tec's former company secretary speaks out about Mr Symons's spending spree of
investors' money and his frustrations with the lack of will to validate Professor Kemeny's
ground-breaking technologies.

So why did the corporate regulator fail to act on concerns about Nu-Tec first raised with them
nearly two years ago? Investors went to ASIC in 2002 complaining and Gregory Symons, a former
bankrupt who has been involved with no fewer than nine failed business ventures. Finance editor
Emma Alberici.

ROGER SMITH, FORMER NU-TEC COMPANY SECRETARY : Symons ran this very much as his own little empire.
He and Noel Dennis had a controlling interest in the business. Gregory Symons had a team of people
around him But he played one off against the other and ran the whole show himself. Then it all went
pear-shaped and Symons reverted to his usual modus operandi, which is to make the best out of it
for himself.

EMMA ALBERICI: How does a company that owns nothing and makes nothing attract $3 million worth of
investment and convince international accounting firms to come up with multimillion-dollar
valuations? It's the question Roger Smith can answer as he takes us inside Nu-Tec. As the company
secretary he works side by side with Gregory Symons travelling the world until, in his words, it
all went pear-shaped. The beginning of the end came in 2002 when Roger Smith and the executive team
were due to travel to Malaysia to develop the sales lead.

ROGER SMITH: We could only get economy class seats, which was fine with everybody except Symons and
his companion. So, Professor Kemeny, two of the consultants and myself, went to Kuala Lumpur.
Gregory Symons didn't come because he couldn't get his business class or first-class seat on a the
plane so he and his companion went off to Coolum for the weekend.

EMMA ALBERICI: Instead?

ROGER SMITH: Instead.

EMMA ALBERICI: On the company account?

ROGER SMITH: Yeah, although he would say, of course, that that's - he's entitled to his personal
drawings out of company funds.

EMMA ALBERICI: According to the company line Nu-Tec was a serious player with ground-breaking
nuclear applications. Noted nuclear physicist Leslie Kemeny was on the becomes, the company's ace.
The truth, however, was that Nu-Tec was no tech. Its technology didn't exist. Just a few
underdeveloped ideas rattling around Professor Kemeny's mind. Some rudimentary paper work and a
sales pitch aimed at novice investors. People like Rod Owens.

ROD OWENS, NU-TEC INVESTOR: It looked pretty well like a win-win situation.

EMMA ALBERICI: And Robert Dabbs.

ROBERT DABBS NU-TEC INVESTOR: It sounded pretty good so we thought we'd chase it up.

EMMA ALBERICI: And Graham Thomas.

GRAHAM THOMAS, NU-TEC INVESTOR: This will be bigger than Microsoft, they said.

EMMA ALBERICI: And even corporate heavyweights, businesses in the business of knowing their
numbers, accounting firms, Deloittes and PKF, who gave them gold, incredible profit forecasts and
growth in the hundreds of millions. Now, PKF said in the first year the company would make $US5
million in income and in the second year it would make $100 million in income. These were 2002,
2003. You must have known that was unachievable? You had no prototype and you had no contract
signed with anyone.

ROGER SMITH: Absolutely, yeah. I had nothing to do with the preparation of those documents.

ANONYMOUS REPORTER: Mr Symons, did you forge any government documents?

EMMA ALBERICI: And this is the man with the dubious plan, Gregory Symons. As we told you last
night, the central figure 13 years ago in a migration scam that came to be known as the Marshall
Islands Affair. It damaged Labor heavyweight Graham Richardson. This latest venture, Nu-Tec, is
Symons's ninth failed business since the '70s. It has sucked in mums and dads to the tune of $3
million. All of them have kissed their money goodbye. Retiree Graham Thomas swallowed the line his
money would multiply 90-fold when Nu-Tec would look to list on a foreign exchange.

GRAHAM THOMAS: It built up to about $100,000 in the end and at one stage I said, "Look, I don't
want to put any more money in. You better get somebody else" because they were asking for $200,000
at that stage.

EMMA ALBERICI: Graham Thomas, like all of the other investors, was impressed what looks like
re-endorsements from Deloittes and PKF about the earning power for Nu-Tec. For this investor it
wasn't simply a case of buying this story, but paying for it as well. PKF's $50,000 fee. Why did
you do that?

GRAHAM THOMAS: Why did I do that? When I look back on it I was very foolish, wasn't I?

EMMA ALBERICI: Doubly foolish for hooking up with this man, Noel Dennis, co-guarantor on the
$50,000 bank loan. Noel Dennis was on the Nu-Tec payroll as its legal adviser, though he hasn't
practised as a lawyer since he was struck off in 1981 for misusing money on a trust account. He has
been readmitted but doesn't hold a practising certificate. Graham Thomas used his money from his
property in Berry as security on the Nu-Tec loan. He was going to retire here but the bank has
called in the loan Nu-Tec can't pay and Noel Dennis says he has no money so Graham Thomas risks
losing his property.

GRAHAM THOMAS: I would have expected PKF to do a diligence check on the company to see that
everything was above board before they done anything. Obviously, they haven't done that.

EMMA ALBERICI: Companies like Deloittes and PKF, surely they have a responsibility to do some due
diligence. Did they talk to you?

PROFESSOR LESLIE KEMENY, NUCLEAR SCIENTIST: No, they didn't talk to me about science and
technology. I would have been present at possibly one or two meetings with them.

EMMA ALBERICI: Sorry to hammer the point, but you did meet with Deloittes and PKF?

LESLIE KEMENY: Yes, I would have met with both of those teams and I'm not familiar with how they do
their due diligence or assessment. Australia has the world's largest uranium resource...

EMMA ALBERICI: Professor Leslie Kemeny has been involved in the area of nuclear science for 30
years. That's how long he's been trying to get his technologies commercialised. So far none of his
theories have left the drawing board. Did you ever say to Deloittes or to PKF, "I'm not happy with
this unless the prototype is done"?

LESLIE KEMENY: I would have said that. I would have warned about making any projections.

EMMA ALBERICI: You did warn?

LESLIE KEMENY: Yes.

EMMA ALBERICI: You warned Deloittes?

LESLIE KEMENY: Yes, yes.

EMMA ALBERICI: Not PKF?

LESLIE KEMENY: They were the two big...

EMMA ALBERICI: So you warned both of them?

LESLIE KEMENY: That's right, yes, yes.

EMMA ALBERICI: Alarm bells should also have been ringing at Australia's corporate regulator after
shareholders approached ASIC with some serious concerns about Nu-Tec two and a half years ago. More
investors have complained to ASIC since then, but still no action has been taken. Gregory Symons
raised money from 112 Australians without a prospectus, telling them he didn't need one because his
company was registered in the US.

ROD OWENS: I was basically told, "Leave it all with us and we'll get back to you." Six weeks or so
later they did get back to me and they informed me, really, there was nothing - there was nothing,
really, there they could do. ASIC really wasn't interested in the small fry like that.

GRAHAM THOMAS: They just didn't give us an answer. They said, "No, we are not interested in doing
anything."

EMMA ALBERICI: But it didn't end there. The '7.30 Report' has obtained a letter from ASIC to
Gregory Symons written as recently as November last year. It asks him to justify raising money in
Australia without a prospectus and warns him it's against the law to do so, particularly if a
company is not registered in Australia. The letter demands a list of answers from Symons, but
astonishingly he never provided those answers and we understand ASIC never followed it up.

EMMA ALBERICI: How did you feel about that?

GRAHAM THOMAS: Pretty let down,actually.

EMMA ALBERICI: Over three years investors received newsletters from Nu-Tec telling them management
had secured supply contracts and sharing agreements with multinational companies. The fiction was
written by Ken Hooper. Nu-Tec paid him more than $60,000 in one year to talk up the company's
prospects. Ken Hooper is himself no stranger to controversy. In 1999 he was secretly paid by
Westfield to set up bogus action groups, to lobby against a rival development. Westfield chairman
Frank Lowy was forced to apologise for the so-called Ken Hooper affair.

ROBERT DABBS, NU-TEC INVESTOR: We spoke to Ken Hooper for a while and then I think we were taken
into Symons's office and they just explained to us, told us that they didn't really want outside
investors; that they were trying to keep this thing in-house, et cetera, and they actually said,
you know, they would think about taking our investment, et cetera, et cetera, go away and think
about it. So we actually went away and thought about it and decided to go ahead.

EMMA ALBERICI: They were giving you the impression that it was very special and very exclusive club
of investors.

ROBERT DABBS: Exactly, yes. It was the reverse psychology that we got sucked into.

ROGER SMITH: I hung around because I said to Kemeny as long as Symons was in the seat, in the
driving seat, we would have trouble raising money, sufficient money to validate fully the
technologies.

EMMA ALBERICI: When Professor Leslie Kemeny broke his contract with Nu-Tec seven months ago, Roger
Smith followed him out the door, but the former Nu-Tec company secretary can hardly distance
himself from Gregory Symons's extravagance. Now we've seen a travel document we'd like you to
explain to us. It's from the end of 2001 and it shows that yourself, Gregory Symons, his girlfriend
Caroline Miller and her daughter went on a cruise around Florida.

ROGER SMITH: Yes, we weren't able to make the appointments we needed to make and there was a
special on a five-day cruise and it was suggested that it would be a good idea if we did that
rather than stay in DC, which was quite expensive.

EMMA ALBERICI: $600 US a night for a cabin and $1,800 a night for Greg and Caroline hardly seems
good value.

ROGER SMITH: I wasn't aware that was - I was told that it was much cheaper than the accommodation
we had in DC, which was about $150 a night.

EMMA ALBERICI: I've actually seen a receipt from the travel agent. Have you? It was a $30,000
cruise.

ROGER SMITH: Good heavens? That really does surprise me.

EMMA ALBERICI: Before you fly around the world first-class trying to find the people to buy the
technology, shouldn't you have proved it works?

ROGER SMITH: I think Symons was looking for a bigger market. He was looking towards this idea of an
IPO in North America somewhere and he felt that I think the phrase he used was "he could sell the
sizzle".

EMMA ALBERICI: None of the institutional investors fell for Gregory Symons's sizzle so the only
people burnt were Nu-Tec's small shareholders. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission
have requested copy of our material.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Which they will get. A sad, sad story in the meantime for the investors. Apart from
a brief statement from Deloittes which we reported last night neither of the two big accounting
firms mentioned in the story would be interviewed for the '7.30 Report'. Gregory Symons remains
uncontactable overseas.