Key CE Retailers Facing Moral Dilemma After Crest Company Executive Charged With Under Age Sex Crimes
Leading CE retailers in Australia who buy goods from The Crest Company in Brisbane, are facing a sticky moral issue, after ChannelNews recently revealed that a major share holder in the supplier of consumer electronics goods to several major retailers has been charged with serious rape and sex crimes, involving a 14-year-old girl.
The issue is whether they continue trading with The Crest Company. ChannelNews understands that discussions have taken place with key retailers.
Dirk Olbertz below, who describes himself as a director of The Crest Company, and is a major shareholder i in the business, claims he is innocent.
He is also innocent until proven guilty.
When we first became aware of his name appearing on a Court list in a Brisbane Magistrates Court, we wrote to the Queensland Justice Department to ascertain the charges.
They came back immediately identifying the 52-year-old Olbertz as having been charged by the Queensland Police with three offences relating to the rape of a female under 16 years of age and ‘indecent treatment of girls under 16 years of age.
We then contacted both Olbertz and the CEO of The Crest Company Michael Edson with whom we had six conversations relating to the charging of Olbertz.
At first Edgson said that Olbertz no longer had any involvement with the Company and that “He was not a director of the business” this was despite past emails from Dirk Edgson claiming he was a director.
He is in fact a major shareholder in the entity that owns shares in the business, and he does receive dividend payments.
After talking to Edgson who appeared to be going out of the way to defend a person, who he said was not a director of the Company, 4Square Media and after three days of deliberation and research decided to publish the details.
We then sent a copy of the story we intended to publish to Edgson, this was followed by silence and where in the past he had responded to our telephone calls he failed to call back.
Suspecting a legal ambush, we decided to publish and with minutes of the matter being published we received an email from Brisbane based lawyers acting for Mr Olbertz ‘Urging us not to publish’.
They claimed that ‘The offences are alleged to have occurred when Mr Olbertz was a juvenile’.
‘He is now 57 years of age. The matter is pre-committal, none of the evidence has been tested and the parties are in the process of resolving this matter’.
‘In the circumstances, it is unlikely this matter will ever proceed to trial’.
‘Mr Olbertz is presumed innocent’ they claimed.
Shortly afterwards they went to a Brisbane Magistrates Court to obtain an interim ‘Gag Order’ which they were awarded.
Yesterday the Court refused to continue the Gag order resulting in ChannelNews being able to publish details on the charges.
We have asked Olbertz, if he intends to try and reach a financial settlement with the victim who is now an adult after Oswald told ChannelNews that he was “Being set up and that …she wants money and that’s why she is doing it”.
He said, “My lawyers are dealing with it”.
He also begged us not to write anything about the charges as it would “Destroy his marriage”.
Olbertz has been married previously and has two adult children.
Both Dirk Olbertz’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages have since been removed.
Back in 2020 the General Manager of The Crest Company Michael Tomkins quit the business along with another senior executive to join a competitor, the split was not harmonious with management getting a gag order against Tomkins.
Alister Shakes, a former product manager at JB Hi Fi who joined Crest as their Product & Range Architect also quit the business after only a short while working at The Crest Company.
Then there was the very messy fight between Dirk Olbertz and former Crest Company executive Vannessa Garrard who left to form her own Company much to the angst of Crest Company management and Dirk Olbertz.
The matter ended up in the Brisbane Courts with both Companies taking legal action against each other.
At one stage Garrard claimed that Crest Director Dirk Olberitz supplied confidential information relating to her Company to ChannelNews, breaching a confidential agreement between the two Companies.
At the time Olbertz told ChannelNews that Garrard had stolen confidential information from The Crest Company. E3 Style was eventually placed into liquidation.
ChannelNews understands that similar allegations have been made against other employees who left and that the business is not frightened of “lawyering up” as one former executive told us.