Following an 71-day trial, Bradley Wendell Young, former director of whitegoods distributor Kleenmaid, was found guilty of fraud and multiple counts of insolvent trading that occurred between 2007 and 2009, in the lead up to the company’s collapse.
A Queensland District Court jury found Young guilty of:
- One count of fraud by dishonestly gaining loan facilities from Westpac Bank in November 2007 totalling $13 million;
- Two counts of criminal insolvent trading of debts totalling $3.5 million relating to two additional loan facilities from Westpac Bank in July 2008; and
- 15 counts of criminal insolvent trading of debts totalling more than $750,000 that were incurred during the period October 2008 to April 2009.
Young was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for the Westpac fraud and a total of three and a half years imprisonment for the insolvent trading charges. Young will not be eligible for parole until February 2021.
Kleenmaid, an Australian-owned appliance brand based on the Sunshine Coast, went into voluntary administration in early 2009. It later went into liquidation with debts totalling approximately $96 million which included $26 million in customer deposits for appliances that had yet to be delivered.
During the trial it was found that Young was aware of Kleenmaid’s debts and financial difficulties at the time of the fraud and other deals.
Judge Farr found that Young “showed a callous disregard for the fortune of those affected”, adding that “insolvent trading…can wreak havoc on a business community.”
ASIC Commissioner John Price welcomed the decision.
“This is a strong endorsement of ASIC’s case, highlighting the severity with which such behaviour should be viewed and should send a signal to all directors and companies that we will pursue them through the courts when they break the law,” Price said.