Suspended sentence for Retravision franchisee

Suspended sentence for Retravision franchisee

Former Retravision franchisee, Duane Drake, has been handed a 15-month suspended jail sentence for siphoning $50,000 from the electrical retail store prior to its collapse in 2004.

Drake was a co-director of CTOH Pty Ltd, which operated the PZ Electrical Retravision store in the regional SA town of Waikerie.

The business folded in May 2004 and was placed into liquidation in June, owing creditors close to $1 million. Eight months earlier, Drake was found to have used the company's American Express credit card on five occasions in order to pay a $50,000 personal debt to his former employer, electrical supplies company, Rexel Australia.

Drake was originally sentenced to appear in court in September 2006, but fled the state in what his defence lawyers called a panic attack. He was arrested and extradited by Victoria Police to SA to face trial in late October.

Sentencing judge, Sydney Tilmouth, described Drake's actions as "heartless" and "deliberative". The consequences of Drake's actions, he said, were particularly devastating for his business partner in the electrical outlet, named in court only as Mr Harris, who had mortgaged and subsequently lost his home over the collapse of the business. Harris, whose mother also lost $65,000 over the affair, has since been declared bankrupt.

Drake has started working at mines in Bendigo and Mt Isa to make up for his actions, and prior to facing court repaid a sum of $10,000.

His 15-month jail sentence is suspended on a good behaviour bond of four years and a repayment scheme for the remaining $40,000 he owes the company. Drake is also disqualified from managing a corporation until October 2011.

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