City man­ager jailed over unau­tho­rised $ 309,000 Cowboys spon­sor­ship deal

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON

A FOR­MER Townsville busi­ness man­ager has been jailed for six years for steal­ing money from his com­pany to spon­sor the North Queens­land Cowboys.

David James Clive ( left) was manag- ing Ko­matsu Townsville when he paid $ 309,311.70 for the spon­sor­ship, which in­cluded ac­cess to a cor­po­rate box.

Townsville Dis­trict Court was told Clive made 23 pay­ments to the Cowboys be­tween Fe­bru­ary 1, 2009, and Novem­ber 29, 2010.

He had pre­vi­ously asked Ko­matsu’s head of­fice for per­mis­sion to spon­sor the team, but his re­quest was de­nied.

Clive was in court yesterday for sen­tenc­ing on two counts of fraud.

Clive had also used Ko­matsu funds to make $ 132,110 in pay­ments to another com­pany, Townsville De­mo­li­tions, be­tween De­cem­ber 9, 2007, and Oc­to­ber 16, 2010.

Judge Clive Wall QC said Clive took ad­van­tage of his se­nior man­age­ment po­si­tion.

“Your of­fend­ing amounted to a per­sis­tent and sys­tem­atic abuse of trust,” he said.

“Your of­fend­ing oc­curred over about three years and in­volved a gross breach of trust.

“You were a trusted man­ager at the time you made these fraud­u­lent pay­ments.”

The fraud­u­lent pay­ments to­talled more than $ 440,000.

It was not re­vealed in court why Clive made the pay­ments to Townsville De­mo­li­tions.

“The pay­ments to Townsville De­mo­li­tions are some­what of a mys­tery,” Judge Wall said. “He tells me he re­ceived noth­ing.”

Townsville De­mo­li­tions said it had done no work for Ko­matsu and the com­pany was in the process of pay­ing the money back to Ko­matsu.

Clive used his su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund to pay back $ 235,000 of the Cowboys spon­sor­ship fees to Ko­matsu.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Har­vey Wal­ters said his client was highly re­garded in the busi­ness com­mu­nity and had paid back most of the stolen funds.

“There is gen­uine re­morse on my client’s be­half,” he said.

“It’s not easy to come up with that amount of cash.

“He has an ex­cel­lent work record and has con­trib­uted to both the busi­ness com­mu­nity and the com­mu­nity he lives in so­cially.”

Mr Wal­ters said his client had no crim­i­nal history.

Clive did not show any emo­tion as his sen­tence was read out and was silent as he was led into cus­tody.

Judge Wall sen­tenced him to six years prison for the fraud of­fences, with the prison terms to be served con­cur­rently.

He will be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role on July 8, 2016, af­ter spend­ing 12 months be­hind bars.

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