leo khouri

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    Trader with GT stripes

    THE man leading the class action of Opes Prime investors trying to seize back control of their frozen shares portfolios, Leo Khouri, is part-owner of Truth Media, a former part-owner of a notorious city nightspot, Barfly's, and one of the nation's most successful day traders.

    From his home office in Taylor Lakes, Khouri has amassed a multimillion-dollar fortune in less than six years, but little else is known about the man nicknamed "The Gun" in day trading circles .

    Lebanon-born Khouri and associated parties are said to have $50 million of stock tied up in frozen Opes Prime accounts and have hired lawyers Clayton Utz to lead a class action against ANZ Bank, Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Klienwort - which between them have claimed more than $1 billion of Opes shares held in nominee accounts.

    Legal letters were exchanged on Sunday and Monday between Clayton Utz and the Melbourne office of Minter Ellison, which is acting for receivers and managers


    Hodgson and Deloitte as well as for ANZ. Minters was blunt in its reply to Clayton Utz: "All securities lent to the company (Opes) have been pooled and lent to its financiers, principally ANZ Bank, Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Klienwort. Pursuant to those arrangements, title to the securities has passed to the relevant financier."

    According to filings with ASIC, Khouri owns 20 million shares in Truth Media, the publisher of Truth Sport newspaper.

    The newspaper emerged from the ashes of the newspaper and radio empire of Mark Day (now media commentator at The Australian newspaper), which went into receivership in September 1994.

    The core media asset of Day's company was Melbourne's Truth newspaper, which to this day makes most of its revenue from advertising Melbourne's brothel, stripper and escort industry.

    The major shareholder of Truth Media is Fred Sharkosi, the former licensee of Bar 20 and the Sports Bar nightclubs on King Street.

    Some mystery surrounds how Khouri, 43, amassed his fortune. In an interview with The Age in 1999, Khouri described how he traded tens of thousands of dollars on single transactions from his home computer.

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