Clive Peeters hit by accounting scandal

Clive Peeters hit by accounting scandal

Retailer alleges staff member siphoned off cash to buy and sell real estate

ASX-listed retailer, Clive Peeters (ASX:CPR) has begun legal proceedings against one of its own staff members for an alleged multi-million dollar accounting fraud.

In a statement to the ASX, the retailer claimed a staff member had falsified entries in payroll accounts and transferred cash out of the business into a personal bank account to buy and sell real estate. The retailer has initiated legal proceedings against the staff member and obtained an order from the Victorian Supreme Court on August 6 to freeze the bank accounts used to siphon off the cash. It is also seeking to recover the property and assets bought with the money taken from its payroll. The properties are valued at $19.9 million.

In the statement, Clive Peeters said the recovery of the money would help boost its cash reserves.

In late July, Clive Peeters requested a trading halt on the ASX after discovering the accounting discrepancies. It also said it would post an operating loss of $11 million to $12 million for the full financial year to June 30, doubling initial estimates of $4.5 million to $5 million announced to the market on July 1.

The retailer’s suspension from trading on the ASX remains in place.

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