Amid IRS battle & Fulop scandal, Alan Dixon takes ‘extended leave’ from US Masters
Amid a battle with the IRS and scandal surrounding his relationship with Mayor Steven Fulop, Alan Dixon is taking “an extended leave of absence for personal reasons” from the U.S. Masters Residential Property Fund – less than two months after he agreed to step aside as CEO of Evans Dixon Limited to focus primarily on the REIT.
When Australian business mogul Alan Dixon set sail for Hudson County back in 2011, the man dubbed by some as the Donald Trump of Australia probably didn’t envision himself under a cloud of controversy less than a decade later – which includes a battle with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over taxes and media scandal surrounding his relationship with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
Unfortunately, that nightmare has become reality for Mr. Dixon – who is now on “an extended leave of absence for personal reasons” from the U.S. Masters Residential Property Fund (URF) nearly two months after he agreed to step aside from his role as Chief Executive Officer of Evans Dixon Limited.
Of note, Evans Dixon was established in February 2017 through the merger of Evans & Partners and Dixon Advisory (which was founded by Daryl Dixon, Alan’s father). When he stepped aside as CEO, the Australian financial services firm said that Mr. Dixon would focus primarily on management of the troubled URF as the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) prepares to commence selling the portfolio – which owns approximately $475 million worth of property in New Jersey (primarily Jersey City/Hudson County).
According to a press release from the REIT, Kevin McAvey and Brian Disler will be taking over Mr. Dixon’s duties – who will “remain available to assist URF as required during his leave and will continue as a director of Evans Dixon Limited and New Energy Solar Limited.”
According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Alan Dixon was one of several departures announced to staff at Dixon Advisory USA – the wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Evans Dixon. That group also includes David Orr, the Dixon USA chief operating officer, and Ezequiel Ortiz, who was one of the company’s first US hires and a key member of their operation in Hudson County.
As noted by the AFR, after listing in May 2018, Evans Dixon shares have declined by almost 70% while shares for the URF are currently trading at 80¢, halving in value in one year and representing a 50% discount to the net asset value of the REIT.
All that said, the nosedive of Evans Dixon and URF shares might be the least of Alan Dixon’s problems – as the Australian national is currently in a dispute with the IRS over millions in taxes.
According to federal court records obtained by Real Jersey City, Dixon filed a lawsuit on June 21, 2019, to quash a Formal Document Request (FDR) issued by the IRS – which his lawyers claim is “retaliation against Dixon for filing a case against the IRS in the United States Court of Federal Claims to obtain a refund of $1,588,653 for the tax year 2014.”
Furthermore, Alan Dixon has gone from relative obscurity to a household name for New Jersey politicos following a Bloomberg feature focused on Mayor Fulop’s personal business dealings. Specifically, the report raises questions surrounding Dixon Projects renovations of Fulop’s Jersey City Heights home (first reported by Real Jersey City) and the mayor’s summer home in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
All that said, it’s apparent Alan Dixon’s American venture is now an unmitigated disaster – which includes damaging the reputation & value of the company with his family namesake, getting into a tax fight with the IRS, and doing business with Hudson County politicians. Only time will tell if/how the Australian businessman bounces back.