A former company director has been sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of 19 offences arising out of the collapse of national white-goods distributor Kleenmaid, which left 200 staff unemployed.
Following a trial which lasted for 59 days, the Queensland District Court jury found Andrew Eric Young guilty of 19 offences including fraud by dishonestly gaining loan facilities from Westpac in November 2007 totalling $13 million.
Mr Young was also found guilty of one further count of fraud by dishonestly causing $330,000 to be withdrawn from a Kleenmaid company bank account two days prior to administrators being appointed.
The money was found to have been transferred to a bank account held by a company in which Mr Young held an interest and from which he and his wife would benefit from the payment.
Mr Young was also found guilty of two counts of criminal insolvent trading of debts of $3.5 million and 15 counts of criminal insolvent trading of debts amounting to more than $750,000.
In passing sentence, Judge Devereaux SC said “it would be obnoxious and naïve to consider these types of offences as victimless…” and that “people in the community must be put on notice that dishonesty will bring with it commensurate punishment”.
ASIC commissioner John Price noted the sentencing of Mr Andrew Young concluded ASIC’s criminal proceedings against the Kleenmaid directors, after administrators were appointed to the Kleenmaid group of companies in April 2009.
The consolidated debts of the Kleenmaid group amounted to approximately $96 million, which included $26 million in customer deposits that had been paid for appliances yet to be delivered.
Mr Young is the final former director of Kleenmaid to be sentenced, following the conviction of Gary Armstrong in 2015 and Bradley Young in 2016.
Mr Armstrong was sentenced to five and a half years’ imprisonment for one count of fraud and two counts of insolvent trading, while Mr Bradley Young was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for fraud and a total of three and a half years for the insolvent trading charges.
“Mr Young’s lengthy imprisonment reflects the seriousness of this matter and should serve as a strong warning to company directors of the consequences where misconduct is established,” Mr Price noted.
He explained that proceedings against Mr Young and his co-accused were the culmination of an extensive and complex investigation by ASIC and prosecution of the charges by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
“ASIC will continue its efforts to ensure directors and company officers meet their obligations, establish and maintain strong corporate governance standards and to bring those who fail in their duties to account,” Mr Price said.
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.