In the case of embezzlement, Guy Sebastian’s former manager learned he was involved in a “big blast” with the musician’s accountant over money.
The alleged fight came to light in the fourth week of the trial of Titus Day, who is accused of helping himself to nearly a million dollars of the star’s income.
Day, 49, pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of fraudulent embezzlement of approximately $900,000 in royalties, performance, and ambassador payments allegedly intended to go to Mr. Sebastian. He also denies 50 alternate counts of theft.
Camera Icon Titus Day is accused of embezzling nearly a million dollars from Guy Sebastian. Flavio Brancaleone Credit: News Corp Australia
The pair worked together for eight years, between 2009 and 2017, with Mr. Day managing the financial flow through his management company, 6 Degrees.
When their relationship came to a bitter rift, Mr. Sebastian claimed he discovered that the money owed him was missing. He took legal action against his former manager to recover the money he allegedly owed.
On Friday, the court heard from Mr. Sebastian’s former accountant Dorcas Kemp, who told the court she never said the musician she was an accountant.
Ms. Kemp told the court that she was responsible for facilitating payments when she was authorized by employees of Mr. Day’s management company. The court heard that she was charged with paying bills from multiple sources with the consent of different people.
“I would receive emails about what was going on and how I could attribute it,” said Ms. Kemp.
“I’ve taken charge of emails.”
Camera icons court heard that the Australian musician Guy Sebastian was little involved in his professional finances. Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia
When asked whether Mr. Sebastian was one of the authorizing parties, Ms. Kemp told the court that the musician remained segregated from his professional finances.
“He didn’t interfere with the bills. He left that to everyone at 6 Degrees and me to pay them,” she said.
Ms. Kemp recalls being “deeply shocked” when Mr. Sebastian called her to pursue payment of more than $100,000 in royalties from Sony.
The court heard that the hefty amount had been deposited into the wrong account and had not been discovered by the accountants at George Kemp and Associates, where Ms. Kemp worked.
Despite having access to the account, she said the accountants only checked the account once every three months and failed to report the sudden influx of more than $100,000.
Shortly after the flaw was discovered, Ms. Kemp and her husband met with Mr. Day and Mr. Sebastian to discuss the corporate structure used to protect the music star’s assets.
Camera IconGuy Sebastian previously told the court that he doesn’t check his accounts often. Josie Hayden Credit: News Corp Australia
The court heard a “major blast” between Mr. George Kemp and Mr. Day, who were “astonished” that the former Australian Idol’s intellectual property rights operated in the same entity as the Madness tour in 2015.
After the meeting, the court heard that Mr. Sebastian said goodbye to George Kemp and Associates.
Ms. Kemp, despite the erroneous payment of royalties, said she was surprised when the relationship between Mr. Sebastian and her husband’s company was severed.
“We didn’t expect something like this to happen as we’ve been working with Guy for eight years, and it all went well,” she said.
“I spent so much time managing Guy’s personal and business affairs.”
The court also heard from Rebecca Oxenbould, the Foundation Manager of the Sebastian Foundation, who has been working for the music star since 2016.
The court heard that Ms. Oxenbould was paid with funds from the foundation and Mr. Sebastian’s Guytunes company to perform personal duties for the music star and his wife.
Camera IconRebecca Oxenbould is the founding manager of the Sebastian Foundation. Credit: Included
The court heard that this could include picking up their children from school to paying their bills.
However, Ms. Oxenbould denied that the matter was “black and white”.
Sebastian had previously told the court that his income stream was so complex that he was forced to rely on Mr. Day to manage his finances.
“I don’t perform and then check if I’m paid,” he said.
“The only accounts I monitor are the ones I use daily.”
The trial will resume on Monday.