Wed. Aug 17th, 2022

Long-suffering creditors to “Diamond” Joe Gutnick’s failed mining group have been told a staffer at the company’s liquidator Deloitte had allegedly stolen $ 682,587.22 from Merlin Diamonds’ coffers to fund an enormous contemporary art collection that included works by Archibald prize winners.

Deloitte wrote to Merlin Diamonds’ creditors last week to inform them that the firm had recently discovered anomalies in Merlin’s accounts that it claimed were caused by an employee, Paul Quill.

Burning Candle, 2020 by Darren Sylvester is listed as one of the artworks allegedly acquired by Paul Quill while working in Deloitte's restructuring team.

Burning Candle, 2020 by Darren Sylvester is listed as one of the artworks allegedly acquired by Paul Quill while working in Deloitte’s restructuring team. Credit:Darren Sylvester

“A Deloitte employee who was employed within Deloitte’s Turnaround & Restructuring Services team via a sophisticated and elaborate scheme, falsely and dishonestly submitted expense reimbursement claims through Deloitte’s internal expense reimbursement system,” Deloitte claimed in its letter.

Via this scheme, the employee falsely represented that the expenses were work-related, when in fact those claims related to purchases of a personal nature. No other employee of Deloitte was involved in this scheme, ”the firm said. Deloitte said in the letter it had reimbursed the full amount plus interest.

Former Deloitte director Paul Quill.

Former Deloitte director Paul Quill.Credit:Fairfax Media

Quill was a senior member of Deloitte’s restructuring team and during his time at the firm worked on major insolvencies and investigations including the Plutus Payroll tax fraud scheme.

Deloitte took civil action in Federal Court in April against Quill after a review found about $ 3 million had been taken from several companies working with Deloitte’s restructuring and insolvency services arm.

Quill was ordered to pay $ 3.1 million to his former employer. He has agreed to pay the sum, according to court records. Quill was contacted for comment.

Deloitte said in its letter to Merlin Diamonds the matter has been referred to Victoria Police. Victoria police declined to comment.

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