Kleenmaid creditors meeting at the Mercure Hotel, Brisbane. Former director Andrew Young.
Kleenmaid creditors meeting at the Mercure Hotel, Brisbane. Former director Andrew Young.

Kleenmaid director’s fraud trial to run into 2020

THOSE holding their breath for a verdict in the case against former Kleenmaid director Andrew Young will have to wait a little longer, with the trial to spill over into next year.

Mr Young has been on trial in the Brisbane District Court since September where he has been defending himself against fraud and insolvent trading charges.

The jurors, whom Judge Brian Devereaux has repeatedly praised for their dedication to the long-running case, were told on Friday that they will need to return in early January for the final stages of the trial before retiring to determine whether Mr Young is guilty or not.

Young: 'I was not a director'

The Crown has alleged that Mr Young dishonestly gained a $13 million loan from Westpac when the "parlous" state of the company was known.

Mr Young has also been accused of acting as a "de facto director" of Kleenmaid's spare parts offshoot Edis Service Logistics when he allegedly committed the insolvent trading offences between July 2008 and April 2009.

The Sunshine Coast businessman has vehemently denied the 19 charges levelled against him and on Friday during his closing address likened insolvency to a jigsaw puzzle.

"Determining insolvency is like a jigsaw puzzle, it's made up of a number of pieces and if you're missing any one piece you can't complete the picture," he said.

He also questioned the evidence of one of the Crown's key witnesses - Deloitte liquidator Richard Hughes - calling it "unreliable".

"How could Mr Hughes determine insolvency in March 08 when Edis could and did borrow from Westpac in July 08?" Mr Young said.

Mr Hughes gave evidence in September, telling the court of the company's dire financial situation when it went into administration on April 9, 2009.

"We reached the conclusion that all of the companies in the entire Kleenmaid group were insolvent on the 31st of March 2008," Mr Hughes told the court.

Throughout the lengthy trial, Crown Prosecutor Lincoln Crowley has shown an abundance of emails and financial records to try to prove that Mr Young was a de facto director of Edis.

"He's getting the cashflow updates showing there's no cash - he's getting those emails about the problems with supply, he's getting emails about creditors threatening legal action," he told the jury during the trial.

But Mr Young has claimed that he resigned as director of Edis for health reasons in June 2007, and that his brother Bradley Young was in charge from that time.

"I'll put it to you very clear that I was not acting as a director of the company. I was assisting Edis as requested to protect my, and my family's, investment," he said.

The trial will continue on January 6 under Judge Brian Devereaux. - NewsRegional