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‘Diamond Joe’ Gutnick Declares Bankruptcy

Once one of the wealthiest men in Australia, Chabad Chosid Reb Yossel Gutnick, locally known as ‘Diamond Joe,’ has been forced to declare bankruptcy with debt totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars, after losing a court case against an Indian fertilizer company.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Mining magnate “Diamond” Joe Gutnick was once ranked among the wealthiest men in the country, with a fortune totalling more than $300 million.

Now the former Melbourne Football Club president has declared himself bankrupt, with debts totalling more than $275 million, after a deal with one of India’s biggest fertiliser groups turned sour.

Mr Gutnick’s statement of affairs, obtained by Fairfax Media, shows he owes his creditors $275 million, and has no other assets except for $16,087 in savings and a worthless portfolio of shareholdings.

It’s a long way from the peak of his career in the 1990s, when the BRW rich-lister had all the accoutrements that great wealth brings, including mansions, a Rolls-Royce, a luxury boat and a private plane.

Click here to continue reading at the Sydney Morning Herald.


  • 1. What goes around, comes around... wrote:

    I will only say this, from my personal experience, regarding all the hype in the early 90’s, with his Great Central Mines stock offering, which we all bought into (understandably, buyer beware!). The stock then plummeted, and never recovered. Several years later, he forcibly bought back, against our will, all of our shares for a pittance (under $2 share), which all the shareholders were vehemently against. Apparently, even after selling so many shares to the unsuspecting public, he still held (or created/manipulated) a 90% ownership stake, which allowed him to legally accomplish this feat. As that valuation was a pittance and negligible, of what we had paid (stupidly enough), we all at least wanted to hold onto “the dream” of the mine making it big time (as per all the Rebbe’s brochos that were hyped up at the time). But “Diamond Joe” cares only about his own interests, and forcibly liquidated us all, ending our last semblance of comfort, dream and hope. So yes, Reb Yossel, many see you as a dishonorable opportunist, who’s day has finally come. (although I would imagine, even this “bankruptcy”, is some sort of manipulation to hide assets and retain ownership.)

  • 2. The Rebbe's Brochos wrote:

    Yerida Letzorech Aliya, The Rebbe’s brocho’s will certainly be fulfilled and many hundreds of millions more will be given to tzedakah by the Kohen Gadol.

  • 3. Ummm wrote:

    “Mr Gutnick also claims to owe tens of millions of dollars to a number of overseas creditors, including $33 million to one “N Sternberg” of New York and a further $13.3 million to “Machne Israel” of New York.”

    Can someone explain to me how anyone can owe Machne Israel?

    • 4. moshe der wrote:

      because there was a time the rebbe loaned him 10,000,000.00 us dollars so with the exchange rate it would be about 13 million ausd

    • 5. Not wrote:

      It is well known that the rebbe leant him $10,000,00 many years ago,and it was never paid back. The thirteen is just the difference in us/aus dollor.

  • 7. Dina Demalchusa Dina! wrote:

    Gutnick claims to owe his wife $30 Million. How is this possible? He also claims to owe N Sternberg $33 Million and Machne Yisroel $13 Million. Something doesn’t add up here. Did Machne Yisroel give Gutnick a loan? Since when does Machne Yisroel invest in businesses???

    • 8. Milhouse wrote:

      What’s impossible about owing money to one’s wife? Or to one’s family trust? Isn’t it natural to borrow from them when in need? Indeed dina demalchusa is dina, and the bankruptcy code is dina demalchusa. There’s nothing wrong with arranging ones affairs so as to benefit from its provisions.

  • 10. Osher wrote:

    There wear people out there who thought “he was everything” and WOW!!! and look… point is people shouldn’t look @ otheres. Look @ yourself first….& then talk….Look what Tzoros he’s going through r’l……no one should go through all that.

  • 11. Just a theory to above comments/questions: wrote:

    Maybe in making his: Wife, Friends, and Machne Israel (run by his…), creditors, he is protecting his ownership and assets (if even only unofficially) from the investors/trustees, in the bankruptcy proceedings.
    As they say: “follow the money…”

  • 12. Dov wrote:

    I was around Melbourne when Yossel was in his hayday… the amount of tzedaka he gave is tremendous.

    May he once again be able to give!

  • 13. CH Homeowner wrote:

    Back in the late 90’s, I asked my broker to look into this stock. She was quite adamant that it was not a good investment. I followed her advice and didn’t purchase any. Today, I’m happy for myself, but sorry to hear that R. Yossel experienced this downturn. Hope he recovers his wealth, as he was very generous with it.

  • 14. Pinchos Woolstone wrote:

    Joseph was very generous to many in years gone by.
    May HaShem bless him to return to financial solvency swiftly.
    May all Jews enjoy spiritual and material well-being.

  • 15. Milhouse wrote:

    Of course as anyone can see by looking at the creditor list, he’s set himself up very nicely. His real debts seem to be on the order of $70M or $75M, mostly made up of the Indians’ $54M. The other $200M is made up of friendly creditors — his wife, his famly trusts, his friends, the Rebbe, etc., so it shouldn’t be long before there’s a settlement and he clears his bankruptcy.

    I wonder how long ago he created Hoydoo.

  • 16. Huh wrote:

    Halevei I should have his money problems. $16,000 in assets? C’mon, who is he kidding? Check his kids’, wife’s & grandkids’ accounts. As Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Well, in this case, money corrupts. It’s a shame because he did give to different causes (his name is prominently on the house at the Ohel) but for smaller yet vital causes…. I literally humiliated myself begging him to help an organization (not me personally B”H) that deals with an inyan the Rebbe wanted spread. I came back with such a bad taste. I’m sorry he “lost” all his money but honestly, I’m not crying for him.

  • 17. Simcha wrote:

    look there was a farbrengen years ago when the rebbe asked who wanted to be rich and I believe Gutnick and a few others raised their hands. If this is indeed so he has the rebbes brochos and this bankcruptcy means nothing. It probably is a stage hashem put him through to avoid maybe something disastrous. The rebbes brochos do not go sour and I am sure he will be back on his feet in no time.

  • 18. Borsalino wrote:

    Rebbes brochos in gcm were fulfilled in different ways giving money to buyers in different ways ( Some made the earnings is real estate others in business etc)

  • 20. Tzadik yossel wrote:

    So many mosdos and bulidings which he founded and which today are huge successful organizations; Heichal Menachem and Mayanoot to name two but there are many more.

    All his deeds are blossoming entities which are a part of the Rebbe’s boom the world over which catapulted Chabad to be the world’s largest Jewish organization.

    Yossel will bounce back once again. Of that we are sure.

  • 22. Yitzchak Mordechai wrote:

    To # 16, I think Yossel Gutnick’s wealth was not from that Farbrengen, he says the whole story on a YouTube video explaining that it all started after the Rebitzen passed away, & the Rebbe showed him on a map of Austrailia all the way in Bklyn, where this Dimond mind was etc, & the Rebbe told him, “it’s about time that Lubavitch has its own wealthy ppl” the there was a private Yechidus that he had that the Rebbe gave him a Bracha 4 wealth. So I don’t think he was @ that Farbrengen.

  • 23. Helped me in my time of need wrote:

    Rabbi Groner quoted the Rebbe as saying, “Whoever wants to invest may invest.” But, this did not necessarily mean a way of getting rich quick. Some friends of mine were speculating that it could go up big time (maybe $100/share!). This did not happen.
    Anyway, I invested, and, after a couple of years, the broker called me and recommended selling it while I can, because it was on the verge of collapse. Relying on the Rebbe, I still held on. Then, a few days later, it suddenly shot up, and I made about 4-5 thousand dollars profit – not bad! I did not have time to wait for it to go higher because I needed the money urgently, so I sold the stock and used the money for my needs. It wasn’t long before the stock’s value plummeted to where I began. Eventually, it did collapse, but not before I benefited. If not for the Rebbe, most likely, I would have listened to the broker, sold early, and lost.

  • 24. Moshe Eliyahu wrote:

    I wish Reb Yossel Gutnick, that BE”H he make 500 x more he ever originally had & be soo wealthy that he will be in the Billions !!!

  • 25. Yitzchak Binyamin wrote:

    Like # 16 said, Yossel Gutnick has the Rebbe’s Brachos for Wealth, so that Bracha never goes away, no matter how many years since he received the Bracha, so it’s only a matter of time that Reb Yossel will have the wealth he had & like comment # 23 said that he should be soo much more wealthy than he originally was & be worth in the Billions, so he could continue helping ppl & Mosdos all over the World.

  • 26. THE REBBE wrote:

    the blind believers and septic realists are BOTH fools –

    That blessing pointing out the map referred to his vision of a 2016 start-over in the FUTURE. no wonder you all wasted, had you blind followers back then gone with true emunah pshuta, instead of running after the sitrah achrah that rushed you toward the cash – then – now youd be in the know that the bracha from then actually will begin now. Yossel hasn’t even yet begun to cash in on that bracha and he doesnt even know what’s about to hit him. NOW is the time to get off the couch and moove it because it’s going to be in the 12 digits. Moshiach NOW!


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