Fraud investigation hits troubled caravan retailer
THE collapse of one of Brisbane's biggest recreational vehicle dealers just got messier with a former employee accused of defrauding the company of half a million dollars.
Andrea McCone, who is believed to have worked for Brisbane RVs for about a decade, is facing multiple counts of fraud in relation to Brisbane RVs.
The matter is currently before the Redcliffe Magistrates Court with a review planned for May 1. Brisbane RVs, which was the trading name for a company called BJ Saggers Investments, operated for about 15 years selling new and used caravans and motor homes from its Burpengary sales yard.
Administrators Worrells were called in to take control of the beleaguered company last week with creditors owed an estimated $4 million. That includes an estimated $330,000 owed to employees, $150,000 to the ATO and $550,000 to customers who had paid deposits on vans.
A secured creditor is owed several million.
Worrells partner Raj Khatri says he could not comment on the specifics of the case before the courts but the alleged fraud could have been a contributing factor in the company's financial problems along with increasing competition.
The chance of recovering any of the money allegedly defrauded was unknown. Khatri says a creditors meeting was planned for next Wednesday where the future of the company will be discussed.
FRAUD allegations aside the tribulations facing Brisbane RVs begs the question of whether the boil is coming off the previously buoyant caravan industry.
Caravan and camping is now a multi-billion dollar industry driven not only by grey nomads but young families seeking a holiday on the road.
But there are increasing signs that a larger number of companies in the sector are chasing a diminishing amount of dollars. Aussie Adventure Caravans Group, which operates in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia, went into voluntary administration last month. The group runs retail businesses including Aussie Adventure Caravans, Downunder RV Australia, Townsville RV and Coffs Harbour RVS.