Former Satellite boss Greg Fisher wasn’t just paying for his name in a Mercedes Fashion Week brochure when he handed over about $220,000 in Satellite funds to Double Bay designer Alex Perry, the NSW District court heard this week.
In summing up the defence’s case on Wednesday, Fisher’s barrister Charles Waterstreet said the six payments to Perry were an investment on behalf of Satellite -“ not just money for one hot Sydney night.
Waterstreet said Fisher believed he had the right to use the money, as he was the financial go-getter of the Satellite organisation.
He was the visionary, Water-street said.
He was not there to service board meetings once a month. He was there -¦ to get the deal done.
Fisher has been charged with six counts of dishonestly using his position as a Satellite director to gain a personal advantage. The charges relate to six cheque payments made to Perry between April and June 2000.
The court has heard the money was used to fund Perry’s catwalk show during Mercedes Fashion Week 2000.
Waterstreet suggested that Fisher had taken several steps to ensure the money would be repaid, including securing a bank guarantee for Alex Perry, secured by his own shares in the Satellite Group.
The jury, Waterstreet suggested, had learned much about catwalks and catfights during the three and a half week trial. He urged the jury to ignore evidence given by former Satellite chairman Kerryn Phelps, as she had demonstrated that she clearly felt ill will towards Fisher.
Waterstreet called Phelps’s evidence pitiful, sad and embarrassing. He questioned why Phelps, who told the court she had telephoned Fisher soon after reading a gossip column about his decision to back Perry for Fashion Week 2000, had not told anyone except her partner Jackie Stricker about the conversation.
Phelps told the court she had asked if the money was coming from Satellite, and was assured by Fisher that it was a personal investment.
Crown prosecutor Robert Sutherland told the court during his final address on Tuesday that Fisher could personally gain from giving Perry the money by increasing his profile in Sydney’s high fashion circles.
Sutherland pointed to the brochure of Perry’s 2000 Fashion Week Show, which included the phrase brought to you by Greg Fisher, without any mention of his position within the Satellite Group.
Sutherland likened Fisher’s actions to taking money out of the till. If the money really was an investment for Satellite, he argued, Fisher would have told the Satellite board of directors about it.
Several Satellite board members gave evidence during the trial that they had no knowledge of Fisher financing Alex Perry, and it had never been discussed at a board or audit committee meeting.
Satellite was billed as the world’s first pink company with a focus on property development and gay and lesbian media when it floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in September 1999.
District Court judge Stephen Norrish was due to complete summing up today.