Who killed Melbourne tax lawyer?

09 November, 2014 by Don Groves

The producers of The Bodhi Tree have optioned two novels by Paul Conroy as the basis for the film based on the true-life story of Max Green, a Melbourne tax lawyer who embezzled millions of dollars and laundered some of the money by buying gems.

Green was found murdered in his hotel room during a one-night stopover in Cambodia in 1998.


Robert Lewis Galinsky is writing the screenplay and serving as executive producer, collaborating with actors-turned- producers Mirko and Amanda Grillini.

An A-list Australian director has read the treatment and is awaiting the script which is due to be delivered early in 2015, Galinsky tells IF.

The primary source material is Conroy’s novels Lawyers, Gems and Money and 10 Months in Laos. The latter deals with Australian couple Kerry and Kay Danes, who in 2000 were arrested and accused of stealing gems and cash from a gem mining company in the Laos capital of Vientiane, where they were employed by a security company.

They were detained for 10 months, enduring brutal interrogations, mock executions, torture and the forced separation from their three small children. In 2001 they were fined and sentenced to seven years in jail. They were released after widespread media reporting of their plight and intense diplomatic efforts by John Howard’s government.

Last year the producers were considering buying an option on Kay Dane’s memoir Standing Ground but they have since decided to base the film on Conroy’s novels.

Galinsky explained, “We are concentrating on the main story of the assassinated lawyer Max Green and his journey from respected Collins Street lawyer to Australia’s biggest legal fraudster, and his ultimate demise.

“We are fictionalising the couple held in the Laos prison, which is the smaller supporting story. Alexander Downer, who is an adviser on the project, continues to be amazingly helpful with the back story.”

Also, Galinsky is writing and exec producing The Yin Yan Duo, the story of the Sonny and Cher-like couple who had a successful singing career in Australia and Asia in the 1970s until calling it quits one fateful night.

The producer/creator is actor Monica Sayers, a NIDA graduate whose credits include Last Man Standing, Love My Way, All Saints, and UK’s The Royal. The project is being pitched to investors in Sydney on Tuesday night.