A former director of leading appliance company Kleenmaid, is facing a hefty jail term after he was found guilty in the Brisbane District Court on Friday, of fraud.
Bradley Young, 44 a devoted Morman, was found guilty of one offence of fraud and 17 counts of insolvent trading. The jury took only four hours to reach the decision.
A bail application was denied and sentencing will take place at a later date. He faces more than 10 years in jail.
After the collapse of Kleenmaid in Australia. Young and his brother Andrew, were accused of deliberately milking the company of revenue to live the good life on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.
Bradley Younge’s brother Andrew is facing a separate trial on similar charges. A former executive who pleaded guilty was sentenced last year to 7 years in jail, this was after a plea-bargain had been agreed.
The 14 companies in the group went into voluntary administration in April 2009, leaving in the lurch thousands of customers who had paid deposits or the full cost of kitchen and laundry products that never arrived.
It was one of the biggest scandals in the Australian appliance industry.
Kleenmaid employed about 200 people in 22 outlets across the country but went into voluntary administration in early 2009.
It later went into liquidation owing creditors $96 million.
On Friday dramatic scenes were played out in the Brisbane District Court when a woman collapsed to the floor sobbing when the jury decision was handed down
Kleenmaid’s cash-flow problems stretched back at least two years prior to the collapse, with the group having a net asset deficiency of $20 million in June 2007, according to a report by the liquidators from Deloitte.
Young, pleaded not guilty in Brisbane District Court in April to defrauding Westpac through a $13-million loan and operating the Sunshine Coast based whitegoods company while it was insolvent.
At 12.06pm today, the jury began working through the one fraud charge and 18 counts of dishonesty related to insolvency.
Because it was an e-trial, jurors have been given a laptop to work through the myriad of documents that have been tendered to the court during the 18-week trial.
THE judge in the case apologised for taking longer than expected in summing up the case before the jury members begin deliberations.
Judge Brad Farr told jurors he had never before summed up an 18-week trial – one of Queensland’s longest – and it was lengthier than he had anticipated.
Friday marked 71 days of evidence in the fraud trial, which was among the longest fraud cases in Queensland.
More than 60 witnesses were called in the case including former staff suppliers and executives from banking organisations who Young was accused of stealing money from.
Judge Farr has told jurors they can only convict if they are certain, beyond reasonable doubt, that Mr Young acted dishonestly when he sought money from Westpac Bank.
The focus of the ASIC investigation that led to this trial centred on the solvency of the Kleenmaid Group and a corporate restructure undertaken in September 2007.