The former CEO of Billabong, Matthew Perrin has been sentenced to eight years in prison for loan fraud. Apparently, he faked his ex-wife’s signature to receive a $13.5 million loan.
The 44-year-old will appeal his conviction. He was convicted of three counts of fraud and six of forgery after a trial in Brisbane District Court in December 2016, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The loan was allegedly used to invest in a disastrous Chinese supermarket business, according to the Courier Mail. The bank is still owed more than $9 million.
Perrin is eligible for parole in four years. The District Court Judge Julie Dick said the former Billabong boss seemed unremorseful. “You seem to simply refuse to recognize that it was you who forged documents and you who caused them to be presented to the bank,” Judge Dick pointed out. “You seem simply to refuse to recognize that it was you who forged the documents and you who presented them to the bank.”
According to reports, Perrin made a total of $57 million from his investment in Billabong. He resigned as CEO in 2003 but in 2009, he was declared bankrupt. According to the judge, Perrin resorted to criminal activities to stay afloat. Dick found it disturbing. According to Perrin’s lawyer Nathan Hounsell, his appeal has already been filed on January 13.
Perrin’s ex-wife, Nicole Bricknell, said that she never gave him the permission to sign on her behalf. Perrin forged Bricknell’s signature to mortgage his family’s property in Surfers Paradise without her authority.
The property was worth $15 million and was owned by his ex-wife. Perrin’s action was described by Bricknell as worse than having an affair. “This man has taken from me and my children without my permission and knowledge, that’s worse than having an affair in my opinion,” pointed out Bricknell during her evidence in 2016.