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The real estate agent warned the employee that he would "pay" for reporting suspicion of fraud, the court said



Sent

November 7, 2018 at 22:21:33

A real estate agent in Darwin, accused of fraud, warned the younger employee that he would "pay" for reporting his suspicions to the headquarters and that "he was not in the spirit of an Australian relationship," the court ruled.

Key points:

  • Chris Deutrom is tried for allegedly redirecting advertising discounts to his personal account
  • Mr. Deutrom warned his colleague that he would "pay" for reporting suspicions of fraud, the court said
  • The general manager of NT News removed the advertising contract at the request of Deutrom

Chris Deutrom is being tried for allegedly redirecting advertising discounts from NT News and realestate.com.au to his personal accounts in 2015 and 2016, when he managed the Elders Darwin estate office.

At the time, Matthew Pullman was an agency sales support officer and he cleaned the office after hours.

Mr. Pullman told the jury that he had noticed a rebate from one of the advertisers paid for the personal account of Deutrom, Deutrom Pty Ltd, and that he had reported it to the headquarters.

"It raised suspicions that something is wrong," he said.

He told the Commissioner that Mr. Deutrom had pushed him aside several times for "aggressive" talks after the Elders board started asking questions.

"There was one comment I should bring to England if I was unhappy," said Pullman.

"That I do not understand the spirit of the Australian relationship.

"He basically said he would find out who said where the headquarters were and that they would pay for what they did."

Mr. Pullman said that Mr. Deutrom repeatedly told him that he was incompetent and suggested that he would be punished.

"He added that nobody in the industry likes me … and that he would give everyone to understand that I put it in it," he said.

"He kept saying that he was constantly complaining about me, he said almost every day."

The advertising contract has been removed at the request of Deutrom

The court then heard evidence from the NT News General Manager Greg Thomson, who said he had a "business" relationship with Mr. Deutrom and that Mrs. Deutroma's wife, Helen, was on the board of the newspaper.

Mr Thomson told the court that Deutrom had asked him to remove the advertising contract, which was named Deutrom Pty.

"Deutrom told you he had" f ***** up "," Prosecutor David Morters SC suggested to Mr. Thomson.

Thomson agreed and lost one of the two contracts, which was subsequently removed at the request of Mr. Deutrom.

"We have removed one to make sure we have one Elders' account," he said.

Mr. Thomson initially agreed with Mr. Morters 'suggestion that Elders' management was in touch with NT News before Mr. Deutrom's request to remove the contract.

During the interview with lawyer Mr. Deutrom, Jon Tippet, QC, Mr. Thomson said he did not remember if it was done before or after Elders' contact with News NT.

"I do not remember if this interview took place before NT News contacted the Elders corporation," he said.

Mr. Tippett told the court that any suggestion of "obliteration" was wrong.

Mr. Deutrom has not pleaded guilty to eight charges of fraud benefit, which is a rebate of $ 234,000.

The prosecutor's case was closed and the trial is on Thursday.

Topics:

courts and processes,

law-crime and justice,

nt,

darwin-0800


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