Deu­trom fate

NT News - - NEWS - CRAIG DUN­LOP

THE jury which will de­cide the fate of al­leged fraud­ster real es­tate agent Chris Deu­trom were told yes­ter­day they will likely be sent out to de­lib­er­ate early next week.

Deu­trom, 50, yes­ter­day af­ter­noon re­sumed his place in the dock af­ter more than a day of gru­elling cross-ex­am­i­na­tion. The for­mer boss of El­ders real es­tate agen­cies in Dar­win has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of ob­tain­ing ben­e­fit by de­cep­tion, charges which stem from him al­legedly si­phon­ing off around $230,000 in ad­ver­tis­ing re­bates from the NT News and realestate.com.au – which were meant to be paid to the com­pany.

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion from Crown Pros­e­cu­tor David Morters SC, Deu­trom de­nied an email he sent to the NT News when one of the pay­ments was due was “vi­cious”, in­stead de­scrib­ing it as “cranky”.

Deu­trom de­nied Mr Morters’s sug­ges­tion he was in “par­tic­u­lar fi­nan­cial dif­fi­culty” at the time of the al­leged of­fend­ing, al­though Mr Morters pointed to emails from tradies com­plain­ing of late pay­ments for the Deu­troms’ Cullen Bay man­sion. He said a $14,993 bill for the in­stal­la­tion of a lift at the Cullen Bay house was paid be­fore any of the al­leged of­fend­ing, and a glazier’s bill was still yet to be paid years later be­cause “my house leaks like a sieve”. When asked why bank records showed him spend­ing the money soon af­ter it landed in his ac­count, Deu­trom said: “be­cause that’s what you do with money”. He de­nied he was ly­ing to his boss, Greg Dunne, in an email in which he said he had put the money aside in his own bank ac­count to pay for a staff trip to Bali.

Deu­trom said he was trans­par­ent with his staff and his bosses through­out his time with El­ders.

“If I was go­ing to de­ceive some­one to re­ceive the money I would have made fake bank ac­counts,” he said.

Deu­trom said an email in which he told Mr Dunne he had be­trayed his trust and felt like an “ab­so­lute ‘f**kwit’” for putting the money in his per­sonal com­pany’s bank ac­count was writ­ten when “they had con­vinced me what I had done was wrong” and when he was try­ing to save his job.

“I was say­ing I did it for the greater good,” he said.

Mr Morters said: “A far bet­ter way to keep your job would be to say, ‘Mr Dunne, Greg, I’m re­ally sorry that I di­verted that $14,410 into my com­pany ac­count but I didn’t think I was do­ing any­thing wrong, be­cause I was go­ing to use it for com­pany ex­penses ...’ (rather) than to say in very clear terms that what you did was wrong.”

Deu­trom said re­pay­ing $90,000 to the com­pany, along

Dar­win Real es­tate agent Chris

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