Businessman accused of $13m fraud
THE trial of a Kleenmaid businessman accused of defrauding Westpac of $13million has begun after almost five years of delays.
Andrew Eric Young, 64, fronted Brisbane District Court on Monday for the first day of the trial that is expected to take eight weeks.
The former director of the Sunshine Coast-based whitegoods company has pleaded not guilty to a raft of fraud and insolvency charges.
Prosecutor Lincoln Crowley, acting on behalf of the Commonwealth DPP, told the court that Deloitte liquidator Richard Hughes would be the first in a long line of witnesses called to give evidence during the trial.
In his opening address, Mr Crowley said Mr Young had failed in his duty to ensure the troubled company did not continue trading while insolvent.
"Importantly the case against the accused is for each of these (charges) and for all of the other charges he was in a position as defacto director," he said.
"...and in that role he had a duty to make sure the company was not trading after March 2008 whilst insolvent."
Mr Young is accused of dishonestly gaining a $13million loan from Westpac and operating the company while it was insolvent.
He is also accused of asking staff members to withdraw $330,000 on his behalf from company accounts just before administrators took over.
Kleenmaid and related companies closed in 2009, owing about $96million.
Mr Young was committed to stand trial in March 2014 but there have been five years of delays, including a defence legal team change and a mental health court application.
Mr Young was represented by defence barrister Andrew Hoare.
The trial continues under Judge Brian Devereaux. - NewsRegional