Former Billabong head Matthew Perrin denied travel as $13.5 million fraud case begins

The former head of surfwear group Billabong, Matthew Perrin, has been stripped of his travel privileges, with a magistrate banning him from leaving Australia after facing charges over an alleged fraud worth $13.5 million.

The beginning of the fraud case comes a year after the Brisbane Supreme Court ruled he had forged his wife Nicole’s signature on a Commonwealth Bank loan.

The last three years have seen Matthew Perrin fall from the top position at Billabong to personal bankruptcy, corporate failure and now, a criminal investigation.

Perrin has been charged with one count of fraud, accused of dishonestly obtaining $13.5 million from the Commonwealth Bank in 2008. The charge follows a three-year investigation by the Queensland fraud and corporate crime taskforce.

The allegations include that he provided false documents and forged the signature of his ex-wife, Nicole Bricknell.

Perrin’s counsel, Peter Shields, said in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday he wouldn’t plead guilty to the charge. He was granted bail, but on the provision he surrenders his passport. The case has been adjourned until November 26.

It’s been a rough three years for Perrin. In March 2009, he declared personal bankruptcy after failed investments in China left him more than $28 million in debt.

The year before, BRW valued Perrin and his wife Nicole at $150 million. His fortunes started to slide when he lost millions as Billabong’s profits declined.




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