Tuesday 25 November 2014

Ella Rouge Beauty founder pleads guilty to misappropriating $2.6 million

Ella Rouge founder Ali Hammoud
Ali Hammoud, the founder of Ella Rouge Beauty Pty Ltd, which operates the NSW chain of ‘Ella Rouge Beauty’ salons, has pleaded guilty to one count of dishonestly misusing his position as a director of ERB International Pty Ltd (ERB) and one count of making a false statement to obtain a financial advantage.

In a statement issued today, the corporate regulator alleged that between 9 August 2007 and 4 March 2008, Mr Hammoud used his position as a director of ERB dishonestly with the intention of gaining a financial advantage for himself, namely by misappropriating $2,609,831.91 from the company for his own use.

ASIC also alleged that between 8 August 2003 and 26 June 2007, Mr Hammoud, with the intent to gain a financial advantage, recklessly made false statements in workers compensation insurance forms by understating the estimated and actual wages of the company. It is estimated that ERB obtained a financial advantage of approximately $338,709.25 as a result of the false statements.

Mr Hammoud was committed to the Sydney District Court where the matter will be mentioned on 5 December 2014.

Friday 7 November 2014

Albarran and Pleash repay mystery $16k

ONE consequence of Justice Ashley Black's recent judgement in the matter of Joe & Joe Developments has been the repayment of a curious and unexplained invoice that Joe & Joe's deed administrator Richard Albarran authorised be paid on June 16, 2009.

The invoice came from Shalton Consulting, an entity associated with Dinimus Capital's principal and founder, Oliver Trajcevski. Hall Chadwick partner Blair Pleash told a recent court hearing that his colleague Albarran authorised payment of the invoice in the sum of $16,855.91.

The hearing was a consequence of one of Joe & Joe's shareholders suing Pleash and Albarran for allegedly handling the company's affairs in a manner prejudicial to the interests of its members and shareholders. In Justice Black's judgement, the Shalton payment came in for special attention.

"In my view, a proper basis has been established for an order that Messrs Albarran and Pleash should repay the amount of the payment to Shalton Investments to the Company (Joe & Joe), leaving them to any rights that they may in turn have against Shalton Investments."

What is interesting about the judge's order is the reference to Shalton Investments. According to the deed administrator's cash book, the payment was made to Shalton Consulting.