EXCLUSIVE: Dick Smith Directors Being Questioned After Former Executive Is Tipped To Have Rolled Over
A former senior executive of Dick Smith is believed to have rolled over and supplied investigators into the collapse of Dick Smith with vital information regarding questionable business activities at the consumer electronics retailer, that collapsed earlier this year with debts of over $400M.
Receiver Ferrier Hodgson and investigators from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission are believed to be in possession of documents and emails that raise serious questions as to how the Company was run. Questions are also being asked about offshore accounts and who actually owned these offshore accounts.
The individual is believed to have been implemented in a series of emails and transactions that are now being probed by Ferrier Hodgson.
ChannelNews understands that questions are also being asked as to the price Dick Smith paid for house brand goods and whether they overpaid for goods via a process that would enable money to be shifted out of Australia to tax haven accounts in Hong Kong.
One insider with close ties to Chinese distributors who supplied Dick Smith’s Hong Kong based procurement office said that questions are also being raised as to the value of invoices supplied by Chinese distributors.
As we reported earlier the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has told Ferrier Hodgson that they have permission to examine individuals who worked for the Company in key roles.
Also being questioned are former board directors including former CEO Nick Aboud who is believed to be back working with Anchorage Capital the Company that pocketed millions from the float of Dick Smith in 2013.
Questions are also being asked as to what action former Chairman Robert Murray took in controlling expenditure at the mass retailer following his appointment.
Insiders are telling ChannelNews that he failed to control former CEO Nick Aboud, resulting in a breakdown in the relationship between Dick Smith and their financiers.
An executive close to Ferrier Hodgson is reported to have said “There’s no way someone would fund an examination and not question those individuals,” he said.
The source who spoke to Fairfax Media denied the examinations amounted to a fishing expedition, for no other reason than they were “costly and time-consuming to prepare for and run.”
“It’s a very serious power that the liquidator or receiver uses very carefully,” he said.
A report into the collapse of Dick Smith is expected in July.