Collapsed company director ‘in jungle’ before collapse

THE wife of a failed Queensland builder told a court she had no idea about hundreds of thousands of dollars that went in and out of their joint account in the month before the company collapse.

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Registered nurse Amber Callender, the wife of Queensland One Homes sole director Paul Callender, was questioned in a Federal Circuit Court public examination into the company's collapse in July, 2017.

It left more than $5.8 million owed to creditors, including more than 130 tradies.

The court heard Paul Callender was on a 10-day holiday in Papua New Guinea on June 16, 2017, when $125,000 was withdrawn from the Q1 Homes account.

Mrs Callender, who was "overlooking things'' in her husband's absence, said on that day she drove to Q1's Southport office, after being told staff and tradespeople had not been paid.

"I said I needed accounts to be paid … I wrote down what I wanted to be paid,'' Mrs Callender said.

She said she tried, but could not get hold of her husband, because he was "in the jungle''.

Mrs Callender said she then rang the company's "IT guy'', telling him to meet her at the office and the company ceased operating out of those premises from that day.

"Things were going on I knew wasn't right…Things were going on behind Paul's back,'' she said.

Mrs Callender said the following morning the IT guy got into the office and computer equipment was taken away in company vehicles to the couple's property.

Mrs Callender who worked as a nurse for 16 years, said she "assisted'' with the Q1 business in 2017 and was sole director of associated company Empire Constructions, which built homes in Queensland and NSW.

She was questioned by counsel for the liquidator about the couple's joint Suncorp bank account and property they bought and sold.

The couple bought a Wongawallan house for about $950,000 in 2010 and after extensive renovations, completed by Q1, it was sold it in 2017 for $1.8 million, the court heard.

Mrs Callender said she could not remember the net proceeds of the sale, after the mortgage was paid, but said she got a loan for the entire $800,000 paid for their next Wongawallan property.

Mrs Callender said she did not know why $550,000 was withdrawn from their joint account on June 9, 2017.

When asked if she could explain why $181,000 was paid into their joint account on June 20 that year, Mrs Callender said: "No. News to me.''

She said she did not know why $100,000 was withdrawn from the account on July 2, 2017.

Mrs Callender also could not explain the origin of $50,000, which was credited into their account on July 7, 2017, the day the company went into liquidation.

She said she also did not know why $150,000 also was withdrawn from the account on that same day.

The public examination is continuing.


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