Fiat’s missing millions for Shane Warne, Liz Hurley, Gary Ablett Jr, and Harry Kewell rry W A Har

Fiat Chrysler accuses former CEO of misusing $30 million

MARK HAWTHORNE Mark Hawthorne is a senior editor at The Age

IT READS like the plot of a Hollywood movie. In Elizabeth Hurley, it even has a movie star playing a cameo.

The former boss of Fiat Chrysler Australia, Clyde Campbell (pictured, far right) lifted the company’s lagging sales on the back of celebrity sponsorships and one of the biggest marketing budgets in the country.

Its brands – Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Alfa Romeo – were aligned with celebrities such as Hurley, Shane Warne, Gary Ablett Jr and Harry Kewell, who signed-on as brand ambassadors. Wheels does not suggest Warne, Hurley, Ablett or Kewell have done anything inappropriate.

The plot twisted in May when it emerged that the company was suing Campbell and seeking to freeze assets including an extensive real estate portfolio, alleging its former managing director misappropriated and misused more than $30 million in company money to fund an ed ey, oes en ng extravagant lifestyle for his family and business associates.

Fiat Chrysler claims corporate funds were used to pay for overseas flights, a $550,000 yacht, a private plane, a golf and spa holiday in New Zealand, luxury villas in Crown Casino, Victorian Racing Club memberships worth $244,800, and more than $380,000 in gift vouchers. ly , But the central claim is that Campbell signed a deal to hire a business called Motortrak to provide “web services” for the company’s dealers at a rate of $690 a month each. Campbell had the contract value lifted to $4100 per month for each of the company’s network of now 184 dealers, and extended the contract term by five years.

Court documents allege that Campbell once held a senior role at Motortrak and still “has, or appears to have, an interest in Motortrak and to have benefited personally from the Motortrak contract”, the writ says.

Motortrak was paid more than $20 million by Fiat Chrysler and its dealers. Campbell is fighting the claims, and his solicitor Sam Bond said his client’s position was that “the allegations in the statement of claim are not only completely denied but considered scandalous”.

WheelsMag.com.au will have all the developments.

THE ALLEGATIONS

$20 MILLION

to a web services company part-owned by Campbell s own

$2 MILLION

a year for Harry Kewell to be a brand ambassador fo bra

FREE CARS

$1.45 MILLION

for 10-year lease on a Sydney site that Campbell later bought Syd i

$5 MILLION

to Villa Gusto Epicurean Retreat for 240 days a year of exclusive use