Ray Mackereth’s bookkeeper tells of his crooked ways

252940_10150214890066943_6629152_nTwo former bookkeepers have alleged that gay business identity Ray Mackereth refused to pay their invoices for work performed at Q News and Klub Kruise, according to sworn statements filed in the Federal Circuit Court.

The gay publisher and former gay-sex club boss is being pursued for unpaid entitlements and superannuation of nearly $40,000. The bookkeepers say they are owed collectively just under $5,000 for work performed but never paid with one adding that once she was of no use, Mr Mackereth just ignored her.

Around the same time she was begging to be paid because she was struggling to make ends meet, Mr Mackereth was boasting online about giving money to a gay rugby side.

The bookkeeper also said Mr Mackereth’s was a workplace “bully” and and that his claims of being a stand up bloke in the community are “outrageous”, adding:

“I think it is outrageous that (Mr Mackereth) was claiming being a community supporter when he has owed his staff, suppliers and the ATO so much for so long. Rather the unpaid suppliers, employees and ATO should receive recognition as he has deprived us to laud himself in the community.

In an ever-deepening crisis for the self-styled champion of charitable causes, the bookkeeper that was with him as Klub Kruise collapsed also claims that the sex club was carrying costs for Q News, that Mr Mackereth owns 100 per cent of. Yet Klub Kruise closed owing nearly $200,000 to creditors.

These costs are said to include administration, motor vehicle expenses and Mr Mackereth’s salary, burdening the now failed company with around  $100,000 per annum of unnecessary expenses according to the bookkeeper-turned-whistleblower, that if proven could leave him exposed to criminal proceedings or being struck off as a director by ASIC.

Another affidavit claims that Mr Mackereth, while admitting workplace bullying allegations, misled WorkCover Queensland by saying he was “let down” by the bookkeeper for not paying the superannuation, despite him never giving his accounts people access to the bank accounts to perform transactions. Both bookkeepers claim payments for superannuation were usually handled directly by Mr Mackereth and never by them.

As Mr Mackereth filed an amended defence of Mr Larcombe’s claim one week late, (Brenton Larcombe Response to amended claim 21-08-2014) where he continues to deny being “involved” in serious contraventions of the Fair Work Act. However these denials are become increasingly inconsistent, and it now appears he now may be pinning his hopes on a period in late 2011 to March 2012, where he suggests he was out of action for poor health for nearly four months. Even that looks in trouble as  both Mr Larcombe and his bookkeeper at the time suggest this claim is nonsense, with both saying he was off work for less than two weeks and otherwise accessible.

Brenton Larcombe is also alleging that after he took just two weeks off work in late May 2012 after nearly ten years of loyal service to Mr Mackereth, he was sacked, despite his illness being work-related. Mr Mackereth also seized the company motor vehicle from Mr Larcombe, which has since been sold.

Despite Mr Mackereth’s amended defence in the Federal Circuit Court that he did not sack Mr Larcombe for his health, evidence tendered suggests otherwise, where it is alleged on 6 July 2012 he wrote the following to WorkCover Queensland:

The business has been financially stressed.  Three weeks ago I terminated Brenton’s employment based on legal advice. I accept that this advice was incorrect and retracted this two days later. However I believe that this has further harmed the relationship and as this was done when he was on sick leave for a work related condition.

So while I dispute some of the reasons articulated by Brenton Larcombe in his claim, I accept that I have been at times unreasonable as a manager and for this I have regret.

Ray Mackereth around 15 years ago but all the smiles and pint sized singers don't distract those he owes from chasing him

Ray Mackereth around 15 years ago, but still uses this as his profile pic, despite life’s lines showing some serious weathering. Despite the Dorian Gray-esque sadness of it all,  the smiles and pint sized singers with 90’s hair don’t distract those he owes from chasing him. His former bookkeeper has savaged him as being dodgy and a bully in Federal Circuit Court documents.

Mr Mackereth admits Mr Larcombe is owed a substantial amount of money, including long service leave, but is still refusing to pay. He also painted himself as caring to WorkCover Queensland in 2012 where he wrote “I stressed that I would do everything possible to try and ensure that he received his wages but with the added stress of having to pay an extra person to replace him, in all seriousness it looked like the business could fold.”

Mr Mackereth’s claims to WorkCover stand in stark contrast to what he has provided to the Federal Circuit Court, where in that version of events he has sheeted home total blame of his company’s failure on the landlord of Number 29 McLachlan Street for not renewing the lease, despite his business not have the liquidity to meet the business debts when due, according to documents provided by the liquidator.

Mr Larcombe confirmed to RayMackereth.com that he had notified the liquidators of Klub Kruise and ASIC of these explosive allegations in recent days.

The case is next listed for a directions hearing on 24 September in Brisbane. Court records show that Mr Larcombe has filed nearly 1000 pages of sworn evidence from seven different witnesses, while Mr Mackereth is yet to provide anything under oath.

Mr Larcombe is seeking to have part of his case awarded without a full trial and also to freeze some of Mr Mackereth’s assets until the matter is fully dealt with by the court.

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth was Santa during better times

A tip off has revealed that a Q News Christmas cover issue from 2006 featuring self-proclaimed community benefactor Ray Mackereth as the cover boy was missing from the publication’s website, when nearly all other issues are online.

The cover depicts Mr Mackereth as Santa, the big man in a red suit that only comes once a year, with a sled and bag of goodies overflowing for the good. This imagery is consistent with how he markets himself, as a generous benefactor to those in need.

It is the Christmas edition of 2006, issue 158, the same year it is alleged that Q News fell behind for the first time with employee entitlements, specifically compulsory superannuation. So while Ray Mackereth’s Q News may have missed this one-time-only event when Mr Mackereth graced the cover, here it is. Merry Christmas.

Ray Mackereth is Santa Claus

Ray Mackereth was depicted as Santa in his Q News issue 158 in 2006, that is nowhere to be found on the Q News website

Coming up: Thursday 14 August 2014 is the big day where Mr Mackereth tells the court why he should not face penalties or be held personally liable for Klub Kruise failing to accrue or pay annual leave, long service leave, notice and compulsory superannuation to Brenton Larcombe. Related

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Klub Kruise once Ray Mackereth gutted it

 

Klub Kruise’s landlord hits back at Ray Mackereth’s “lies” as years of wages underpayments emerge

Self-proclaimed man of the community Ray Mackereth’s integrity has been further brought into question in his formal response to Federal Circuit Court proceedings, where he blamed his landlord for Klub Kruise’s failure, with the landlord hitting back in an Affidavit of Josef Senisin’s 2012 lease dealings with Ray Mackereth.

After reading Mr Mackereth’s required Response to the Federal Circuit Court Ray Mackereth responds to Larcombe Lawsuit blaming Landlord, Josef Senisin added yesterday that Mr Mackereth implicating him in his business failings was “lies” and he added that he and his business partner were financially harmed when Klub Kruise allegedly unlawfully damaged his building and breached the lease, resulting in a criminal complaint to Queensland Police.

Court documents claim that Ray Mackereth enjoyed the good life including holidays and hospitality while he didn't pay the award minimum conditions or superannuation in his sex club

Court documents claim that Ray Mackereth enjoyed the good life including holidays and hospitality while he didn’t pay the award minimum conditions or superannuation at his gay sex club

The revelations have arisen as part of a Federal Circuit Court action that accuses Mr Mackereth of being an accessory to serious offences of “core provisions” of the Fair Work Act, which threatens to engulf his separate publishing business Q News, with documents made under oath claim he breached his director’s duties and misappropriated employee entitlements and even that he may be involved in tax evasion.

Senisin claims under oath, and if false he risks a lengthy prison term,  that three times Mr Mackereth was offered an agreement to lease, and that despite him and his business partner agreeing to concessions requested by Mr Mackereth, and Mr Mackereth agreeing to two deals verbally, he never signed the required documents.

Emails attached to Senisin’s affidavit appear to support his version of events, including Mr Mackereth crying poor and seeking a market-review increase in rent to be waived, to have the effect that the new lease term would be less than the current rent Klub Kruise was paying by nearly 15 per cent.

It is unclear how Mr Mackereth can blame his landlord for his failure to find alternate premises, while his cash strapped company owed $189,000, that was immediately due and payable if not under a special payment arrangement with the creditors. This is especially so as his Klub Kruise’s second largest creditor was Mr Larcombe, who expected his money, in full, which was over $41,000 according to the company’s accounting records.

In any event, Mr Mackereth’s response to the Federal Circuit Court is in-keeping with a post in the publication he owns 100 per cent of, Q News, by an anonymous author, on 24 August 2012.

The story included the following:

Brisbane lost a venue last week after the quick closure of Klub Kruise. Sadly, after 10 years serving Brisbane’s gay and bi men, as well as many other visitors and travellers, the club was forced to close its doors after the landlords refused to renew the lease.”

“No reason was offered by the landlord as to why they would not renew the lease to those renting after 10 years, having never missed a payment.”

The “quick closure” of Klub Kruise is also quizzical given it had traded one month past its lease, which Mr Senisin claims in his statement was a gesture of goodwill by him and his partner to raise additional funds for unpaid employee entitlements and superannuation. Senisin also complains that despite him going out of his way, the employees got nothing because of how Mr Mackereth acted.

Mr Senisin referred to the Q News story and the reply to the court more bluntly, simply saying “bullshit”.

Meanwhile Mr Mackereth originally sought to liquidate the company on 22 June 2012 but later changed his mind, according to ASIC documents filed with the court.

An exhibit to Mr Senisin’s affidavit also suggest that Mr Mackereth may not have been ensuring Klub Kruise complied with the correct modern award, likely to be the Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2010 based on transitional requirements during the award modernisation process.

Mr Senisin attaches an  email to his statement where he swears under an oath it is true, that shows Mr Mackereth attempting to get  a rent reduction on a new lease. Mr Mackereth lamented paying his casual employees “$23.00 per hour and more to come”, when in fact the Sunday rate was closer to $35.00, meaning he may face further action from all former staff who have six years to claim against him personally, just as Mr Larcombe is.

It is also claimed by Mr Larcombe that employees worked in shifts longer than five hours without a break, which under the award entitled them to time and a half which was never paid by Klub Kruise, and that Mr Mackereth admits in Federal Circuit Court documents that he was solely responsible for the corporate behaviour of Klub Kruise.

Have you worked at Klub Kruise between September 2008 until it closed? You may be entitled to claim against Ray Mackereth personally even though the company has closed. With fines, you could come out with more than you were originally owed. Fill in the form and we will connect you with the help you need.

Related:

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Klub Kruise once Ray Mackereth gutted it

Coming up Next: Toys. Prams. Floor. An insight into how employees coped with the Ray Mackereth tantrums.

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Two affidavits filed in the Federal Circuit Court claim that both Q News and Klub Kruise have systemically underpaid superannuation to their staff for years, nearly all of whom earned minimum or award wages, while both companies’ sole director Ray Mackereth lived in a mansion at Paddington largely funded by his business interests.

The documents form part of a long running dispute between the former manager of his sex on premises venue that was exclusively for men that have sex with men. Things escalated dramatically in recent weeks in the Federal Circuit Court, with Larcombe filing a raft of witness statements suggesting Mr Mackereth may not be the community do-gooder that he likes to make out and also suggesting he may be a less than effective company director, even a non-compliant one.

David 'Deeje' Hancock who is also Mr Larcombe's partner says Q News was for a  long time underpaying staff up until he left in 2011

David ‘Deeje’ Hancock who is also Mr Larcombe’s partner says Q News was for a long time underpaying staff up until he left in 2011

In what is emerging as an apparent pattern, David ‘Deeje’ Hancock, the former sales manager then general manager of Q News and also the long-time partner of Mr Larcombe says in his statement Ray Mackereth’s former GM dishes up his dirty dealings,  that it was back in 2006 when he dealt with his first staff complaint about unpaid superannuation and that in 2010, the situation had deteriorated so badly that staff insisted that the Australian Tax Office collect this debt.

According to Mr Hancock, Mr Mackereth had allowed Q News to rack up such a debt with employee’s compulsory superannuation, that some employees were still getting paid back well into 2013 despite leaving in 2011.

The delayed payments also prevented employees cashing in on the huge gains post-GFC that superannuation funds enjoyed as the market recovered. Hancock also claims that 60 per cent of the rent paid on the Paddington residence was once being covered by Q News, despite it only occupying a tiny part of Mr Mackereth’s compound, implicating him in potential personal income tax evasion for fringe benefits should this be proven.

Hancock also confesses to “turning a blind eye” with Mr Mackereth’s alleged misleading conduct to advertisers about circulation and distribution points, grossly inflating printing runs to secure advertisers, even at unjustified higher rates.

In his statement, Hancock said that he near the end of his employment changed his silence  and he had many “heated” exchanges with Mr Mackereth over the alleged fraud against Q News advertisers and readers. Hancock also confesses his behaviour has brought him great shame that he didn’t do more to stop it.

Also in 2010, documents seen by raymackereth.com show that the ATO was undertaking an investigation in Klub Kruise for unpaid superannuation for those staff, which the ATO also found that it was also behind, meaning both Mr Mackereth’s companies were spending their staff’s retirement savings.

On the Q News website Ray Mackereth claims he "has a great sense of social justice" but he stands accused of misappropriating employee entitlements for his personal or business gain

On the Q News website Ray Mackereth claims he “has a great sense of social justice” but he stands accused of misappropriating employee entitlements for his personal or business gain

Extraordinarily, within months of getting back to being compliant and no longer behind in compulsory super, Klub Kruise stopped paying it again, forcing  employees to again complain and the ATO launching a second investigation. At the time of liquidation, 11 employees were duped out of their retirement funds.

Raymackereth.com has also sighted official company records of Klub Kruise that show they were behind on superannuation, GST and PAYG tax from 2009 by as much as $30,000. At one stage, Klub Kruise had three motor vehicles under finance using the company as security by have a registered charge with ASIC. This suggests Mr Mackereth at one point had two vehicles for his personal use being a Jaguar and a late model Jeep, in addition to the fully financed company commercial ute, despite neither of them being needed for company purposes, according to Mr Larcombe and ASIC records.

Mr Larcombe and Mr Hancock now manage a similar business, being a sex on premises venue for men that have sex with men, in the same location where Klub Kruise was known as Number 29 Cruise Club.

Coming up next: Did the Landlord really not renew the lease for Klub Kruise without reason as Mr Mackereth claims? READ:

Klub Kruise’s landlord hits back at Ray Mackereth’s “lies” as years of wages underpayments emerge

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Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Did Ray Mackereth Rip Off Business Network and Suicide Prevention bodies?

Queensland gay businessman Ray Mackereth is facing allegations of improper conduct as documents suggest he was both the referee for a gay and lesbian business network to win a government grant, while his company was the single biggest beneficiary of that grant, taking home $7,150 for advertisements placed in QNews.

Government documents obtained by RayMackereth.com  show that Mr Mackereth, along with two local LNP politicians acted as personal referees for Brisbane’s Gay and Lesbian Business Network. Originally QNews was to share equally the biggest beneficiary status with community run paper Star Observer, however an amended grant document shows that Star’s portion was more than cut in half, leaving Mackereth’s publication the front runner, benefiting the most from this government grant.

Despite his business enjoying advertising from grants, direct government contracts and taxpayer supported not-for-profits, Mr Mackereth has refused to comment on his involvement. It is also in the wake of revelations that Mr Mackereth’s  QNews has allegedly overstated Q News’ publication figures, distribution and  readership figures according to report in The Australian and Star Observer.

Separately because of advertisements run by QNews and contradictory posts on its website, questions have also been asked as to whether promised fundraising in aid of “suicide prevention” was actually diverted to a soccer club and regional Queensland community group.

Ray Mackereth or QNews appear to have started a petition on Change.org arguing “We have actively been involved in suicide prevention for over 10 years” which received a lacklustre response of 110 signatures to get the Queensland Reds to to an It’s Gets Better Campaign.

In 2011 QNews promised to share profits of an event “Carnivale”, where the publication marketed itself as the promoter under the heading of “QNews Presents”. While pre-event promises varied, they appeared to offer that profits from Carnivale would be split 50/50 between Brisbane Pride Festival and “suicide prevention” although no specific organisation was noted as the beneficiary.

Sources close to BPF confirm they received $4,108 as QNews boasted they had donated. However after a recent tip off to raymackereth.com that money was not ever disbursed to any suicide prevention charity or community group, Mr Mackereth was asked how the balance of the profits were allocated to “suicide prevention”.

Mr Mackereth has not answered any questions about how the funds were disbursed. QNews’ own pages appear contradictory about wheren the money went, where one month they say “all other proceeds” went to “youth suicide prevention” and the next month saying the money went to BPF, a soccer club and a regional Queensland group, implying that only the scraps, or perhaps none at all, went to an unnamed youth suicide body.

On 14 June 2011 QNews editor Toby Longhurst wrote a glowing review of his employer’s own event saying QNews financed and organised the one-off Carnivale:

“…which has acted not just as a stand in fair day but also as a fund-raiser to help Brisbane Pride Festival get back on its feet, as well as donating all other proceeds to youth suicide prevention.”

Mackereth himself was quoted in his editor’s article:

“QNews Publisher and Carnivale organiser Ray Mackereth, who worked with a team of enthusiastic volunteers, has long been a passionate advocate for youth suicide prevention and described the day as being of “significant importance”.”

However just one month later on 15 July 2011, a co-authored post by Big Brother graduate (and now Ministerial Advisory Committee member) David Graham and TV personality Peter Everett, suggested the money was handled differently with 100% going to “youth suicide prevention” indicating nothing to BPF.

“Brisbane Carnivale was a once off event organised by Q News and co-ordinated by Ray Mackereth after Brisbane Pride Festival fell into financial difficulties. Despite a substantial loss last year from BPF’s Fair Day, this year’s similar event managed to post a profit  despite harshly cold and inclement weather that minimised numbers. 100% of profit that is set to top $10,000, is being donated to youth suicide prevention and the last amounts will be presented over the coming weeks to community beneficiaries.”

Later in the same article it appears a different version still as to who enjoyed the spoils from this event.

“The atmosphere in Perry Park was extremely vibrant, upbeat and celebratory. The soccer club at Perry Park who host many youth soccer carnivals and were flooded earlier this year also received a $5,000 donation from Brisbane Carnivale for use of their grounds.

A new Roma LGBT group not So Straight are also about to receive a $500.00 donation from Brisbane Carnivale with more donations to be announced soon. This takes the current donations to $9,608.00 to date and still more to be donated by QNews.”

Promises of a presentation to youth suicide support group do not appear to have ever been published and it is unclear if they occurred but if $9,608 of around $10,000 was paid out as reported, then 50/50 did not got to BPF and “suicide prevention” as was promised in pre-event marketing. Carnivale also received government assistance.

In related suggestions of exaggerated claims, QNews marketing tells its prospective customers it has “at least 50,000 readers are online” (and that figure expands to up to 150,000 per issue) and also says “QNews usually ranks in the TOP 500,000 WEBSITES in the WORLD & also in the top 15,000 WEBSITES IN AUSTRALIA” (sic).

An Alexa search, which RayMackereth.com understands to be the reference tool used by QNews online claims suggests a very different picture with a global ranking not even close to the the top one million world websites, limping in at 1,126,116. Similarly the Australian results suggest QNews are only in the top 48,568 most popular website meaning they are potentially tripling their actual performance to attract advertisers.

Mr Mackereth has not responded to how his company verifies this claim.

In a statement on Thursday to community radio Joy949, Mr Mackereth did not specify which allegations he was referring to, but said that things being said about him were “untrue”.

Mr Mackereth in August 2013 told a Brisbane community group committee that there was a “vendetta” against him and that the journalist had “mental issues” and telling others the journalist was “schizo”. He conceded to this community group that he has no intention of ever responding to the questions.

Related:

Ray Mackereth accused of being an old hand at living off his employees’ entitlements

Ray Mackereth in Federal Circuit Court for Unpaid Employee Entitlements

Ray Mackereth an Unreasonable Manager: WorkCover

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