Still no an­swers from for­mer Re­tail Food Group ex­ecs

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - MICHAEL RODDAN AND RICK MOR­TON

FOR­MER ex­ec­u­tives of be­lea­guered Re­tail Food Group have been un­able to an­swer a se­ries of ques­tions on no­tice put to them dur­ing a re­cent par­lia­men­tary hear­ing.

Tony Al­ford and Ali­cia Atkin­son, once in­ti­mately in­volved in run­ning RFG which owns fran­chises in­clud­ing Brumbies, Glo­ria Jean’s and Donut King, re­sponded to ques­tions through their Gold Coast lawyer Peter Kum­nick, but were un­able to pro­vide ba­sic in­for­ma­tion about em­ploy­ment agree­ments or even the num­ber of com­pa­nies where di­rec­tor­ships were held.

While Mr Al­ford was asked to take on no­tice how many com­pa­nies he was a di­rec­tor of, Mr Kum­nick said the an­swer could not be pro­vided.

“We have on Mr Al­ford’s in­struc­tions at­tempted to carry out elec­tronic searches of records main­tained by ASIC for Mr Al­ford. These searches could not be un­der­taken be­cause the ASIC on­line search tool re­turned the er­ror “Too many records found to con­tinue ex­tract”,” he said.

Mr Al­ford was also un­able to spec­ify the prof­itabil­ity from pay­ments from fran­chisees to the fran­chisor nor to pro­duce doc­u­ments show­ing de­tails of his salary sac­ri­fice plan.

When asked to ex­plain re­lated party ar­range­ments with a car racing scheme, Mr Kum­nick said Mr Al­ford “can­not an­swer that ques­tion from his per­sonal knowl­edge”.

“He does not pos­sess and can­not pro­duce a copy of his em­ploy­ment agree­ment with RFG,” Mr Kum­nick said.

The ex-ex­ec­u­tives were forced to ap­pear be­fore the hear­ing late last month af­ter they failed in the High Court to stall their ap­pear­ance.

For five years, RFG al­legedly hid that it out­sourced the man­age­ment of 20 to 30 fran­chisees to a Coast in­vest­ment ve­hi­cle whose sole di­rec­tor was Ms Atkin­son.

It has been ac­cused by fran­chisees of de­stroy­ing those un­der­ling busi­nesses with un­fair fran­chise deals.

For­mer RFG se­nior ex­ec­u­tive Ali­cia Atkin­son and CEO Tony Al­ford.

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