New details have emerged regarding theft allegations against a former financial controller at bankrupt Australian luxury fashion label Alice McCall.
Covid toppled the high-end brand into administration in 2020 when it tried to restructure debt and closed stores during the pandemic. But those efforts failed to right the ship, forcing the 20-year-old company to liquidate in February.
Now Maurice Egbert stands accused of stealing more than $340,000 from the company, according to a Daily Mail Australia. The former finance boss reportedly used false supplier invoices to cover up payments from the company to his bank. The theft was discovered in May last year, and Egbert was charged by local police in December.
Egbert’s attorney Omar Juweinat at Aquila Lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
“The facts are somewhat complicated and will require an analysis of the banking records together with the material available to the liquidators to determine whether the quantum is properly established,” he was told a local court, according to the Australian outlet.
The company is believed to owe creditors more than $1 million. Australia’s taxing authority and landlords are in line to get most of that sum, according to reports.
Fashion brands were particularly hard hit by the pandemic when their stores couldn’t operate and the supply chain broke down. However, some were already struggling before Covid. In 2020, at least 48 retail and fashion bankruptcies roiled the industry. Some were able to restructure, but many closed up shop shortly after filing. Alice McCall was one of the few that lingered in bankruptcy court before eventually pulling the plug. Bankruptcies fueled the over 11,000 fashion-related doors that shut in 2020.