Director allegedly withdrew $237,000 from dying business
The director of a crane business that went bust is on trial accused of dishonestly taking more than $200,000 of company money in its dying days.
Farmouz Farhaad Mohammed, 44, from Brookwater and previously Hope Island, pleaded not guilty before Ipswich District to dishonestly causing a $237,000 detriment to Crane Trucks R Us while he was a director at Mount Ommaney on August 27, 2015; and dishonestly causing detriment to the company on August 29, 2015.
The charges under the Criminal Code arose following an ASIC investigation.
The Ipswich court heard that the businessman, known as Fred Mohammed, was the sole shareholder and director of Crane Trucks R Us which was based at Richlands.
Crown prosecutor Jeffrey Hunter QC opened the case before a jury on Tuesday, saying the allegation involved Mohammed who, knowing that his business was about to go into liquidation, "cleaned out its bank accounts".
Mr Hunter said the company also owed a substantial amount of money to the tax office, including $70,000 due at the time, and GE Finance held security on other assets.
He said the company's only remaining asset had been a year 2000 model Mazda.
The prosecution case includes allegations of company money being withdrawn, then paid into a solicitor's trust account on the Gold Coast, before being moved into the bank account of a new company set up by Mohammed, known as CTRU.
Mr Hunter said two females with the same names of Mohammed were listed in CTRU but it was not known if they were relatives.
The court heard receivers were appointed on August 3, 2015 and CTRU was set up three days later.
Mr Hunter said it would be alleged that Mohammed also had between $63,000 and $70,000 in a Commonwealth Bank account that he deliberately omitted from mentioning.
He said the Crane company account "swelled" considerably when a debtor paid money into it, bringing its balance to $237,677.
He said Mohammed withdrew $237,000 from the account and withdrew $16,000 from his company Tranzhire R Us.
The jury was told the total of $253,000 was then paid on August 28 into a trust account at Worcester and Co - a firm of Gold Coast solicitors.
Mr Hunter said that on September 1 a cheque was written to the new company, CTRU, for $200,000.
Then on September 8 an amount of $160,000 was transferred to a female's account that previously held just 31 cents. The woman's name included the surname Mohammed.
Mr Hunter further outlined the movement of funds, with the jury panel given copies of evidence showing the movement of money.
Mr Hunter said $19,000 was paid by a debtor into Crane Trucks R Us then withdrawn in cash amounts of $10,000 and $9000.
Three witnesses gave evidence on Tuesday including a financial investigator with ASIC who explained the flow of funds into various accounts.
A former compliance officer with the Commonwealth Bank gave evidence by phone about money that went in and out of premium check accounts operated by Tranzhire R Us and Crane Trucks R Us.
A witness for GE Finance agreed with defence barrister Michael Copley that Mohammed had assisted the company by returning assets such as vehicles for auction.
The witness said there was also mention by Mohammed at the time of the company owing between $300,00 and $400,000 in superannuation to employees.
The jury trial before Judge Dennis Lynch QC is expected to conclude by Thursday.