By Patrick Avenell

MELBOURNE, VIC: Clive Peeters should ultimately recover all the funds allegedly stolen by former employee Sonya Causer, through a combination of property sell downs and insurance payouts, according to managing director Greg Smith.

In an interview with, Smith said that there were only 10 properties of the original 41 left to dispose of, and that a further five should be sold before the start of 2010. No new properties or assets have been discovered since the original investigation.

“There’s nothing left we’ve identified to recover from, but there is more to be recovered from that,” said Smith.

We asked Smith if Clive Peeters will be able to recover the full $19.4 million that was lost through this ordeal.

“We’re still in the process of finalising that because we’re still proceeding through the property sell down program. We’re down to the last 10, and we expect to have only five of those left by Christmastime.

“So out of the 41 properties, we will have disposed of 36 by Christmastime, so it’s been a pretty good effort considering we only started in the beginning of October.”

Smith said that whatever shortfall was realised from the sell down should be covered by an insurance claim. Furthermore, he said that Clive Peeters would be submitting an insurance claim against the loss as soon as an amount was determined.

“We’re pushing to dispose of the properties as quickly as we can so we can identify and quantify the loss, so we would expect that we would fully or nearly recovery the misappropriated funds out of the combination of the property sell downs and the insurance claim,” Smith explained.

In related news, Smith reported that Causer’s replacement at Clive Peeters was doing “a very good job”, and that the whole organisation was now focused on moving on with business.

“Sonya Causer, as far as we’re concerned, is a fading memory,” he said. “We just now want to concentrate on getting on with running the business.”