Russell – Owner, Deniliquin Freighters: “I’m the owner of Deniliquin Freighters Transfer Company based in the Riverina in New South Wales. It just seemed to me that we weren’t making the profits that we should have been making. We’d sort of employed a General Manager about five years earlier and he was pulling out probably $150-200,000 a year out of the business”.
Vicki Meyer – CEO, Deniliquin Freighters: “Sitting in this very office he shut the office door to say I’m “not to show the owner of the business anything financial” and I remember thinking “whoa”.”
I wanted to see some financials, and when we would go to the files here, there would be a blank page.”
Russell: “When my senior staff in the office came to me, look I probably didn’t want to know about it, because I was so reliant on this guy. As our General Manager he was a key part of our business, and look to a certain degree he was a key part of our success as well.
But scanning through your thoughts, it’s not necessarily the fraud, it’s how you’re going to deal with it, how do we move forward?”
Vicki: “We didn’t know where to start.”
Russell: “It knocked me over, it nearly killed me.
So we engaged Andrew as our attorney. He told us he was the general and we’d do exactly as he said. And that’s where Andrew and his team were great, because they guided us through the whole process. Through Andrew we ended up with a very, very acceptable result.
He (fraudster GM) ultimately confessed. They usually keep taking it until the business is completely gone. We got up to maybe $700,000. To a small to medium sized business it’s a huge amount of money.”
Vicki: “There were about 80 people on the books. It’s not about us, it’s about those 80 people.”
Russell: “You know, someone said to me, “you were fairly lucky there, Russell”, and I didn’t agree with it because with Andrew and his team, there wasn’t much luck. It was just pure professional, straight down the line, no emotion, this is what we do. It can be very difficult to take the first step to deal with it, you know, by engaging Andrew and his team but I just urge people to do it.”
“$700,000 was recovered for Russell, helping his business survive and thrive.”