By on May 26, 2015

Chrysler 300 (Aus)

The Chrysler 300, thought by many to be a modern day “gangster” car, has tons of power. But, as they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and for former FCA Australia CEO Clyde Campbell, it still may not be enough to escape accusations of misappropriation of funds.

Tomorrow, FCA will take Campbell to federal court in Australia claiming he funneled money to other companies owned by himself, his wife, co-workers, and his successor – Victoria Johns.

FCA has accused Campbell of misappropriating and misusing more than $30 million “in company money to fund an extravagant lifestyle for his family and business associates,” reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The claim also states Campbell provided free vehicles to celebrities Shane Wayne and Elizabeth Hurley in the UK, a region in which FCA Australia does not have business.

Campbell is said to have used corporate funds to purchase a $400,000 yacht, a plane, trips, and private club memberships through a convoluted process involving multiple companies.

The accused, prior to working for FCA, was employed by Motortrak. After Campbell moved to his position at FCA, Motortrak was contracted to provide web services to dealers at inflated prices, costing FCA $9.16 million per year between December 2010 and May 2015.

Campbell is also said to have funneled money to a company called My Alfa Romeo that was contracted to provide a “mobile floating billboard” at the cost of $500,000. Simone, Clyde’s wife, was a director and shareholder of My Alfa Romeo. The billboard was never delivered or provided.

Another company, Vukosav Photography, was paid $191,192 for services never contracted. Company owner Andrew Vukosav is said to be a friend of Campbell. The two allegedly went on a three-day golf trip together in New Zealand. Neither FCA or Maxus, FCA Australia’s marketing agency, contracted photography services from Vukosav Photography.

A conflict of interest is also mentioned in a $6.6 million contract with a company called Digital Dialogue. Sam Tabart, then FCA’s marketing director, is said to have a stake in parent company Digital Dialogue Media Holdings.

Finally, it is alleged Campbell’s successor, Victoria Johns, used company funds to pay for renovations at her private home. Johns was the first female CEO in the automotive industry in Australia and left FCA without warning in October 2014 for “personal reasons.” There have been no claims made against Johns.

FCA is looking to reclaim funds misspent under Campbell’s tenure as managing director from 2010 to 2013 and to freeze the assets of Campbell and his wife Simone, including their family home, “bank accounts, shareholdings and other properties and assets in Europe and New Zealand.”

“During a routine audit, we discovered what at best appears to be incomplete documentation pertaining to certain transactions and vendor relationships initiated or approved by Mr Campbell during his tenure as CEO of FCA Australia,” explained a representative for FCA in a statement.

The case begins in federal court tomorrow.

[Sources: mUmBRELLA, Sydney Morning Herald 1, 2, GoAuto]

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10 Comments on “FCA Takes Former Australia Exec. to Court for Misappropriation of $30M...”


  • avatar
    skor

    I’m always astonished when I see fraud of this type. Accounting controls to prevent this type of BS have been around for decades. Are these big companies trying to save a buck on accounting?

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    It’s amazing how these Hillary Clinton types rise so high in corrupt environments.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      I think you could have figured out how to make that not so partisan and americentric (word?).

      At any rate, giving full benefit of the doubt, it’s actually a thing. They totally feed off each other, trading favors, and doling out influence and cash.

      I always say not to hate the money, hate the power.

  • avatar

    That’s MY CAR!!!

  • avatar
    patrick-bateman

    Hi Mark,

    A few niggles here …. It is Veronica Johns, and Shane Warne.

    But it could explain why FCA cars are expensive in Australia, and their dealer network rubbish.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @patrick-Bateman
      This fellow was involved in the RHD Conversion of RAMS. The Australian FCA is a subsidiary of the New Zealand based Company. I thought it a bit rich the amount of money, they wanted for these conversions.
      Demand is very doubtful and it appears he might have a hand in the crazy prices they were going to charge

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    Chrysler has a dealer net work in Australia? where? .Australia was primarily founded as a penal colony and most early settlers here were convicts. Many are still in positions of responsibility as witnessed by the jailing of several labor politicians overs the years .Even one of our recent prime ministers was accused of embezzling union funds to rebuild her house. There have been lots of cases in the last 10 years of bigger thefts than this one. The most amusing was Samoan who claimed to be a Tahitian Prince and who almost single handedly bankrupted the State of Queensland. What is not surprising is the sheer laziness of companies and government departments when they will not do audits .But then,Laziness is almost a national trait in OZ.

  • avatar
    andrewallen

    I’m old enough to remember not only when they had a dealer network but a factory that exported parts for Valiants and slant sixes as well as designs to South Africa for manufacture there!

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