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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Former brokerage MD allegedly spent funds on homes, travel

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Austbrokers Canberra has alleged in court documents that its former MD fraudulently used funds for home renovations, travel and repairs to luxury cars.

The broking firm is taking legal action in the Supreme Court of NSW to recover millions of dollars in company funds that it says were used for personal purposes. The matter was disclosed to the market by parent company AUB Group in 2018.

The court action is against former Austbrokers Canberra MD Gregory Wayne Johnston, his wife Melinda Jane Johnston and a number of related companies they owned or controlled either directly or indirectly.

Court documents seen by allege that Mr Johnston altered invoices sent to him and his wife for home renovation costs, to appear to be for works done to the office space of Austbrokers.

“Similarly, he sought reimbursement for expenses said to be incurred in the performance of his duties which were in fact expenses on his private family home,” the document says.

Mr Johnston is also alleged to have falsely charged the company for expenses related to a private family holiday to the US in 2014, a trip to Hawaii in 2017 and other travel.

Austbrokers says he caused the firm to pay for repairs and other works totalling $292,346.17 for personal vehicles.

The couple and their children at various times were driving a Ferrari Spider, a Ferrari California, an Audi RS3, a Subaru, a Land Rover Range Rover Sport, a Maserati Gran Turismo and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The defendants have denied the allegations in the case, which was scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Sydney today

“As it is a matter subject to legal proceedings, we are not making any further comment,” AUB Group CEO Mike Emmett said today.