The Kleenmaid Appliances dealership.
The Kleenmaid Appliances dealership. Jason Dougherty

Insolvency unit looks into Kleenmaid years before collapse

KLEENMAID had come to the attention of federal financial agencies up to three years before it collapsed, a court has heard.

Former Kleenmaid directors Andrew Eric Young, 62, and Bradley Wendell Young, 44,have pleaded not guilty at the Brisbane District Court to defrauding Westpac of a $13 million loan and 18 counts of operating a company while it was insolvent.

The court has heard the company was declared insolvent in 2009 and administrators were appointed after a Westpac Bank investigation.

It owed creditors $96 million, including about $28 million to Westpac alone.

But former Australian Securities and Investments Commission accountant Meaghan Leslie Brooks told the court on Wednesday the ASIC insolvency team interviewed Andrew Young in October 2006.

Ms Brooks, who now works as a financial investigator for the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission, said she and a fellow ASIC investigator had visited Kleenmaid's Maroochydore headquarters, where they found the company owed $2.2 million to the Australian Tax Office and had a $30 million liquid assets deficit.

She told the court Andrew Young said during the meeting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was also investigating them. She said he believed a disgruntled former employee had complained to ASIC and the ACCC.

Ms Brooks said her next contact with Kleenmaid was on April 9, 2009 - the date when voluntary administrators were appointed.

The Kleenmaid brand was sold in 2009 to Compass Capital Partners, and the company now operates out of Sydney.

The trial is set to continue for the next 12 weeks.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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