«In effect, he was chasing his tail in relation to his finances — he had some very significant loans with some crippling interest — to keep his head above water,» his barrister Daniel Caruana told the court.
Innes pleaded guilty to official corruption, misconduct in relation to public office, attempted fraud, forgery and uttering, uttering forged documents and a count of breaching a bail condition.
They relate to his dealings with Ipswich City Council and Racing Queensland.
The court was told Innes dealt with former Racing Queensland bureaucrat William Shuck in securing work on racecourses around the state for his company.
Prosecutors said the work amounted to «insider trading» because Mr Shuck gave Innes the budgets for the work, and this allowed him to undercut competitors.
«He knew what budget they had, so he was then able to put in a tender that mirrored the budget … Effectively it was like insider trading, he knew what result they were looking for,» prosecution barrister Todd Fuller told the court.
Investigations into Innes’ dealings with the council kicked off in October 2016 when he was also being investigated for the Racing Queensland matters.
The court was told Innes had a corrupt relationship with former council CEO Jim Lindsay and former chief operation officer Craig Maudsley through a mutual interest of horse racing.
Innes’ dealings with Lindsay involved an alleged material change of use over land that he had an interest in.
It would have resulted in a significant windfall for Innes and a $1.5 million payment was discussed as part of the arrangement, the court was told.
But the alleged payment never went ahead when investors withdrew and the investigations into the council were made public.
Other dodgy dealings with the council involved Innes saving tens of thousands of dollars in disposing of fill at council tips at the expense of ratepayers.
The court was told Innes was previously convicted of dishonesty offences in the 1990s and had an ongoing issue with gambling.
Innes’ sentencing was adjourned until Friday.