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ATL withholding pension benefits from defendant in fraud case, court told

Published:Saturday | May 11, 2013 | 12:00 AM

A senior executive at the ATL Group has testified that the company has refused to pay over the pension benefits of one of the defendants in the billion-dollar fraud trial.

David Davies, chief financial officer for the ATL Group, was referring to Patrick Lynch, the former chairman of the ATL Pension Fund.

Davies testified on Tuesday that approximately $2.6 million was credited to Lynch's account following the 2008 pension surplus distribution.

Lynch, Catherine Barber, the former general manager of the ATL Pension Fund, and Dr Jeffrey Pyne, the former managing director of Gordon 'Butch' Stewart's holding company, Gorstew Limited, are on trial for disbursing over $1.6 billion from the fund without consent, thereby benefiting, and using forged letters to justify the payouts.

"You do know as a fact that the company (ATL) has refused to pay Mr Lynch his withdrawal benefits for 2008," defence attorney Frank Phipps asked Davies during cross-examination yesterday.

"Yes, I am aware of it," the witness responded.

"And you do know that the Financial Services Commission wrote to the Pension Fund to say, 'Pay the man his money'?" Phipps continued.

"Yes, I am aware of it," Davies again replied.

The trial has been adjourned until May 20 when Phipps will continue his cross-examination.