A trusted Perth accountant accused of stealing hundreds of thousands from just one of his “fabulously wealthy” shoppers to subsidise his upmarket way of life has testified the income was either loaned to him to buy home or given to him as a gift.
- Scott Fleay says his romance with the couple grew to become “personal” in character
- He statements this led to them offering him dollars and featuring big financial loans
- He also claims Gus Jabado “ate” evidence which would have supported his situation
Scott Fleay, 52, was supplying evidence to the WA District Court exactly where he has been on trial for the past 7 days on 25 fees of thieving extra than $4 million from immigrants Ghassan ‘Gus’ Jabado and his late spouse Maria.
The court has heard Mr Fleay, a previous Peppermint Grove shire councillor, was the couple’s accountant when in 2006 they sold the rooster farm they experienced run for 31 years for $28 million.
Mr Jabado was originally from Lebanon when his wife was Italian, and the court docket was told the pair relied on suggestions from their accountants simply because neither could not publish English very very well nor have an understanding of intricate lawful paperwork.
It is alleged that around the subsequent five many years, soon after getting offered enduring energy of attorney above the Jabados’ funds, Fleay channelled dollars from their accounts into bank accounts controlled by him, and made use of the resources for his individual functions.
That involved helping Mr Fleay and his spouse and children acquire two multi-million-greenback properties in Perth’s upmarket western suburbs and an $80,000 auto.
In his proof on Friday, Mr Fleay testified that while his partnership with the Jabados had started off out as expert, in excess of the yrs it “blurred” into what he explained as 1 that was “extra personal in mother nature”.
He claimed Mr Jabado would connect with him “my boy” and find assistance from him about small business promotions and property.
“I guess I was like his private assistant and he concerned me in much more and much more of his dealings,” he reported.
‘Not the smartest issue I have done’
Mr Fleay said he would receive “presents” from the Jabados of up to $20,000 and believed that among 2005 and 2010 he been given $200,000 to $300,000.
At the time, he was earning about $300,000 a 12 months from his accountancy occupation.
Mr Fleay explained it “did not strike him as a problem” as it was occurring, but in hindsight, he explained it as “probably not the ideal issue to do”.
“It was probably not the smartest matter I have performed,” he told the court.
Mr Fleay also thorough two $2 million “financial loans” he obtained from the Jabados to help invest in two western suburbs properties — one particular in Peppermint Grove in 2007 and just one in Cottesloe in 2008.
He reported the very first personal loan occurred immediately after he told Mr Jabado he was likely to get a bridging financial loan from the lender.
He testifed Mr Jabado mentioned to him, “Why do you want to do that? The banking companies are a bunch of c**ts”, ahead of stating “My boy, we have the dollars, we can lend it to you and we are not out of pocket”.
Mr Fleay claimed he to begin with refused, but Mr Jabado grew to become agitated and reported, “Is not our cash very good plenty of for you?”
They then talked about the financial loan acquiring an desire amount of 6 for each cent, right before they drew up an “acknowledgement of financial debt” document, which Mr Fleay mentioned was saved by Mr Jabado.
He reported the second “loan” in 2008 to purchase the property in Cottesloe was added to the doc, even with Mr Jabado telling him he did not like the suburb and could not have an understanding of why he desired to stay there.
The rates against Mr Fleay include things like allegations he stole sums of revenue from the Jabados that ended up intended to be donated to charities, which include Telethon and Sliver Chain. On the other hand, in his proof he denied at any time performing that.
The courtroom has listened to the accusations first surfaced in late 2010, which the defence suggests is when Mr Jaabado found out — immediately after his wife’s death — that Mr Fleay experienced been assisting her entry money from her account.
‘He ripped up and ate’ the evidence
Mr Fleay testified that Mrs Jabado asked him to assist her give money to her nephew, in spite of her spouse “definitely loathing” her spouse and children.
He reported he would transfer funds from Mrs Jabado’s account to his very own account, and then withdraw it and give her the funds in an envelope when her husband was not around.
He told the courtroom that every single time she would sign and date a document he had drawn up stating, “I Maria Jabado have asked for Scott Fleay to take cash for me without having the know-how of Gus Jabado”.
Having said that, Mr Fleay claimed could not now develop that doc as proof.
When asked why, he said it was mainly because Mr Jabado had “eaten” it.
He said when he went to see Mr Jabado on Boxing Day 2010, he tried to produce the doc but Mr Jabado accused him of fraud, indicating his wife would hardly ever have finished that.
“He took it, ripped it up and ate it,” he reported.
Mr Fleay stated all through the conference Mr Jabado’s voice was particularly loud and he described himself as staying “scared and frightened”.
He denies accomplishing anything at all illegal, with his attorney Simon Freitag SC boasting the court docket circumstance was “payback” for his client “betraying” Mr Jabado by likely at the rear of his again.
Mr Freitag described the Jabados as “fabulously rich” and Mr Fleay as also “very well off”, but he taken care of there was “no fraudulent intent” by his shopper in what he did.
The courtroom has heard Mr Fleay has repaid all the cash to Mr Jabado plus curiosity.