Still no answers from former Retail Food Group execs
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.