By Patrick Avenell
MELBOUNRE, VIC & SYDNEY, NSW: Clive Peeters is investigating an unknown staff member for serious, and possibly criminal, misappropriation of funds. This news is directly related to the multimillion dollar “accounting discrepancy” announced last week, resulting in a suspension of trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
In a statement released this morning, a Clive Peeters spokesperson says that as a consequence of its forensic investigation into the missing moneys, the group has commenced legal proceedings against staff member and other unknown “related parties”.
It is alleged that the staff member, who is now co-operating with Clive Peeters management, falsified entries in Clive Peeters’ payroll accounts, transferred cash out of Clive Peeters into private accounts, and then used those funds to purchase assets, including real estate.
Clive Peeters has now obtained court orders from the Victorian Supreme Court freezing a number of bank accounts suspected to have received the allegedly embezzled funds. Furthermore, real assets valued at almost $20 million, believed to be purchased with the misappropriated funds, are in the process of being seized.
“Clive Peeters is now effecting the transfer of those properties into Clive Peeters’ name,” said the spokesperson. “The cash reserves of Clive Peeters will ultimately be strengthened as a result of these transfers.”
Trading in Clive Peeters has been suspended throughout this investigation, and that trading halt is expected to continue until the accounting discrepancies “are more fully investigated”.
More to follow.