You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Former Billabong boss guilty of fraud

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Rachael Burnett

Former Billabong CEO Matthew Perrin is spending his first night behind bars after faking his ex-wife's signature to get a $13.5 million loan.

Perrin and his former spouse Nicole Bricknell made about $57 million from their investment in the surfwear brand.

For a number of years they enjoyed the high life on the Gold Coast with their three children, indulging in exotic holidays and plush cars.

They used some of the profits to build their dream home on a waterfront plot in Surfers Paradise, complete with underground car park and a private jetty.

By 2008 Perrin urgently needed credit from the Commonwealth Bank to fund his failing investments.

The house was solely in Ms Bricknell's name so he forged her signature, and that of his brother Fraser Perrin as a witness, to use it as security for the $13.5 million loan.

But the funds weren't enough and Perrin made a dramatic confession at an emergency family meeting in early 2009.

He lay on the floor with his head in his hands sobbing that he had "lost everything" and wept: "I'm going to jail, I've done a lot of bad things".

The former CEO also signed a six-page confession stating he had gone behind his wife's back for years and tricked the bank.

He denied writing or reading the document and said when he signed it he was in a "dark place" and "contemplating suicide".

Perrin has been convicted of three counts of fraud and six of forgery after a week-long trial in Brisbane District Court.

The jury reached unanimous verdicts on Tuesday but was unable to decide on three further forgery charges.

He claimed he had his ex's permission to sign her name on legal paperwork and had been doing so throughout their relationship.

Ms Bricknell insisted she had never given authority for him to sign on her behalf and said losing their millions was worse than him having an affair.

"This man has taken from me and my children without my permission and knowledge, that's worse than having an affair in my opinion," she said during her evidence.

The case will return to court for a mention on Thursday, with Perrin to be sentenced at a later date.

He has been remanded in custody.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon