Ken Grace claimed to have set up a Goldsky fund in the Cayman Islands.
Ken Grace claimed to have set up a Goldsky fund in the Cayman Islands.

Royal nanny caught in possible ‘Ponzi’ scheme

A FORMER royal nanny and an NRL team fitness expert have become embroiled in an alleged illegal investment scheme.

Authorities are investigating whether a hedge fund manager used their cash to fund his family's glamorous lifestyle.

Former royal nanny turned Gold Coast wedding celebrant Kate Turner is one of more than 50 investors, including Olympic swimmer Sam Riley, cyclist Robbie McEwen and former Brisbane Lions captain Simon Black, to have paid $16 million to hedge fund manager Ken Grace's Goldsky fund, court documents state.

The corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, was investigating whether Goldsky was a "Ponzi scheme", the Supreme Court in Brisbane heard.

The court was told that Ms Turner, of Palm Beach, on the Gold Coast, invested $65,000 with Grace, 53, of Kingscliff, northern NSW, in November 2017 and June 2018.

Ms Turner is originally from Yorkshire and is a former nanny to princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, according to her Facebook profile.

Others to have invested in the Goldsky fund include Gold Coast millionaire businessman Phillip Kaljo, who is the son of the late former Estonian consul general Aldur Kaljo, from Point Piper in Sydney, who was worth $50 million when he died in 1994.

Mr Kaljo, from Tallai, on the Gold Coast, invested $1.3 million in the Goldsky fund on October 19 last year.

Former Brisbane Lions player Simon Black is one of more than 50 investors.
Former Brisbane Lions player Simon Black is one of more than 50 investors.

He owns AAP Industries, which makes pipes and fittings for engineering companies, and his sister is Sydney socialite and hotel owner Terry Schwamberg.

Grace told investigators he was friends with Mr Kaljo, court documents state.

Other investors include NRL team Melbourne Storm's director of performance Lachlan Penfold, who put in $127,559. Brisbane sports acupuncturist Alan Jansson, of Miami, invested $185,760; sports physiotherapist David Bick, of East Brisbane, put in $25,000; and chef Steven Snow, of Kingscliff, who is head chef at up-market Fins Restaurant, contributed $140,000 to the fund.

NSW North Coast car dealers Todd and Mike Blewitt also invested $165,000.

Grace was a former Toyota car dealer, the court heard.

ASIC has frozen the joint bank accounts of Grace and his wife Jane, in a bid to protect the interests of his investors.

ASIC alleged Grace was not licensed to invest, and suspected the Goldsky fund was a Ponzi scheme.

ASIC told the court there were dozens of suspicious transactions valued at $1 million in Goldsky's accounts, including $747,646 likely transferred to Grace's family members, and about $300,000 allegedly spent on jewellery and watches, cosmetic surgery, clothing, restaurant meals and beauty treatments.

There is no allegation of misconduct against Grace's family members.

The transactions also allegedly include $14,025 spent at a beauty spa in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands, where Grace claimed he was setting up a Goldsky fund, in October last year.