Kleenmaid trial: Was former director calling the shots?
A FORMER Kleenmaid employee who was left $20,000 out of pocket when the company collapsed has given evidence in the trial against former director Andrew Young.
Neville Dean took the stand during the third week of the trial of Mr Young, who has pleaded not guilty to a raft of fraud and insolvent trading charges in the Brisbane District Court.
Mr Dean worked as a national supply chain manager for the Sunshine Coast-based whitegoods company until it went into voluntary administration on April 9, 2009 and was never paid for his last four months of work, the court heard.
Prosecutor Lincoln Crowley, acting on behalf of the Commonwealth DPP, showed a slew of email chains from 2007 to 2009 allegedly showing Young was then a shadow director of Kleenmaid's spare parts offshoot Edis Service Logistics.
Emails shown in court revealed that Mr Dean would often forward the concerns of international and domestic suppliers to Young.
In one email thread between Sydney-based freight company CEO Global, managing director Ken O'Brien tells Young that an outstanding debt of $600,000 was "choking" his company.
Young would then negotiate credit extensions and encourage suppliers to keep sending stock, the court heard.
The Crown has accused Young of dishonestly incurring debts, including when he was allegedly a shadow director of Edis Service Logistics.
Mr Crowley will have to prove that Young was calling the shots for Edis at the relevant time for many charges to be proven.
During cross examination, Young's defence barrister Andrew Hoare argued that before Kleenmaid's 2007 restructure, Mr Young had developed a number of relationships with suppliers and after 2007 would use his negotiation skills when cash was tight.
But Mr Hoare said the "big picture" decisions for Edis, such as the potential for a public float and expansion of franchised stores, were all in the hands of former Kleenmaid director Bradley Young.
Mr Hoare told the court that the company's restructure was spurred on by his client's serious health issues so he could take a "step back".
Mr Crowley then asked Mr Dean: "Did he step back?"
"In relation to my activity and job function, our interaction stayed very much similar, if not precisely the same pre and post (the restructure)," Mr Dean said.
The trial continues under Judge Brian Devereaux. - NewsRegional