Aussie mining magnate Clive Palmer investigated over $10 million fraud

Aussie mining magnate Clive Palmer investigated over $10 million fraud

Australian police have launched a probe into alleged misuse of A$12 million ($10.5 million) provided by Chinese miner Citic to mining magnate Clive Palmer, The Australian reported Monday.

According to Citic, Palmer spent $10 million of its money on his 2013 election campaign, with a further $2.167 million being funnelled to other areas.

Palmer, who recently made international headlines for both his plan to build a replica of the Titanic and a live-TV attack to China, was elected last year after creating the Palmer United Party.

The scale of the fraud alleged against the tycoon-turned-politician is tipped to almost double to about A$23 million, which is the total amount of cash granted by Citic to fund operations of an iron ore port in Western Australia.

Palmer has denied the allegations, arguing the case was brought to embarrass him, amid a two-year-old legal fight between the two sides.

Adding to Palmer's woes, his party lost this weekend its high profile MP, Jacqui Lambie, a former soldier who decided to quit after a series of bitter disputes with her leader. The two outspoken figures, reports The Sydney Morning Herald, have become known for their tendency to make outlandish proclamations, though it soon became apparent that the party – sometimes called "the Palmer Disunited Party" – was not big enough for both.