On 15 June 2021, the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland delivered its decision regarding an appeal against conviction and sentence brought by Mr Andrew Eric Young, a former director of the Kleenmaid group of companies.
The prosecution of Andrew Young arose out of the collapse of the Kleenmaid group. At the time of the collapse, the consolidated debts of the Kleenmaid group amounted to approximately $96 million, which included $26 million owed to customers who had paid deposits for white goods that had not yet been delivered.
Mr Young appealed against all of his convictions on two counts of fraud and 17 counts of insolvent trading delivered in the District Court of Queensland on 10 January 2020 (20-027MR). One of the primary grounds of appeal of Mr Young was that the convictions were unreasonable and not supported by evidence.
The Court of Appeal found that Mr Young’s convictions were neither unreasonable nor unsupported by the evidence. However, the Court of Appeal held that the trial Judge had erred by not referring the question of whether Mr Young was fit to be tried to the jury to decide.
A new trial has been ordered on all 19 counts and the convictions have been set aside.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).
ASIC will continue to pursue criminal action against company officers for egregious governance failures that put at risk companies and the public.