Former Block contestant facing theft charges

Original Block contestant Phil Rankine was arrested on Thursday and charged with 20 counts of theft, totalling more than $5 million.

Rankine, 51 was a 33 year old marketing exec when he featured on the very first season of The Block with then-wife and singer Amity Dry, 33. They came 4th but pocketed $60,000 when the Sun-Herald bought the Manly property at auction.

They returned for The Block: All Stars in 2013 in Bondi, winning the series and a cool $395,000, but split in 2018.

He became a music promoter bringing acts to South Australia including Lionel Richie, Bob Dylan, Florence and the Machine and Bon Jovi.

News.com.au reports in 2019, liquidators were called in with the promoter’s debts estimated at around $20 million.

Rankine is accused of stealing a total of $5,569,575 from high-profile investors both in Australia and internationally across 2018 and 2019.

He was granted bail on Thursday, with his lawyer telling Nine News that “the charges will be vigorously contested”.

He will face court on August 12.

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