Lawyer clarifies StayMint prosecution

The legal representative for StayMint P/L John Mahoney of Mahoney Lawyers has reacted strongly to the Accomnews article on July 1 on the Office of Fair Trading prosecution. In the case the Gold Coast company was fined $50,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court last week for 231 counts of dishonestly converting trust money to its own use.

Mr Mahoney told Accomnews, “Unfortunately the information circulated in various publications about the case is very one sided and very misleading. It is also damaging to my client and the industry generally. The following is a more accurate summary of what took place.

“It is important to note that no conviction has been recorded against StayMint or anyone associated with StayMint. The prosecution arose from the unauthorised and unlawful conduct of an employee whose actions were in flagrant breach of the StayMint’s policies and procedures.
“The Office of Fair Trading investigation confirmed that the directors of the company were unaware of the employee’s actions which went undetected by the regular and mandatory independent audits of the company’s trust account records. As a result, no directors were charged in any way,” stressed Mr Mahoney.

“The directors were shocked to learn of the employee’s conduct. As soon as they were made aware of the allegations, they ordered a thorough internal investigation into the matter to determine the extent of the employee’s unlawful activities. The company cooperated fully with the Office of Fair Trading and worked diligently in conjunction with that office to ensure that owners were compensated for the misallocation of funds for the relevant period.

“The extent of the company’s cooperation with the Office of Fair Trading, the company’s unblemished record and other factors were noted by the court when acknowledging that it was not appropriate that a conviction be recorded against the company,” said Mr Mahoney.

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