Guy Sebastian has revealed a list of deals he did for goods instead of cash, including free flights, two Land Cruisers and a boat.
The trial of Australian music star Guy Sebastian’s former manager, accused of masterminding a $900k embezzlement scandal, has been delayed after the Judge in the case became ill.
Former agent to the stars Titus Day, 49, has pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of fraudulently embezzling money allegedly owed to Sebastian and 50 alternative larceny charges.
Police allege the money Mr Day owed 40-year-old Sebastian came from a mix of royalty, performance and ambassador fees which were paid to Day’s now liquidated management company 6 Degrees.
Mr Day was due to take a prearranged cut of the money and reimburse Sebastian with the rest, however a NSW District Court jury has been told Mr Day allegedly either never paid Sebastian the right amounts between 2013 and 2020.
The trial began at Sydney’s Downing Center court precinct on Tuesday and Sebastian was the first witness called to give evidence on Wednesday.
In his opening address to the jury, Crown prosecutor David Morters SC told the court there were multiple examples of “shortfalls” in amounts of cash transferred to Sebastian.
The court heard the former Australian Idol winner and judge on The Voice was allegedly not paid the right slice of about $494,000 he earned for supporting US superstar Taylor Swift during her Australian tour in 2013.
Sebastian earned $49,000 from a performance at a rugby match at Allianz Stadium and allegedly never got paid a cent of it, the court was told.
The court was told that in 2017 Mr Sebastian commanded about $54,000 to perform at a wedding in Jakarta, $10,000 for a wedding at Sydney’s Doltone House, $66,000 to appear at a McDonald’s conference and $33,000 to perform at a Harvey Norman event.
In affidavit shown to the court, Mr Day listed a range of “contra deals” Sebastian and businesses entered into. Mr Day claimed he was owed commission for the deals, but Sebastian disputes the claim.
“Contra is basically an exchange for promoting somebody’s product,” Sebastian told the court.
“You might do a gig for somebody for an exchange of goods as opposed to actual money.
“I don’t believe I’ve ever paid commission on any kind of contra in my career.”
The court was told disputed deals listed by Mr Day in the affidavit included a six-year endorsement arrangement between Sebastian and Toyota, which saw the car company regularly provide new vehicles like LandCruisers to Sebastian and his wife Jules.
“At the start the agreement I entered into was just a NSW deal and it ended up being a national deal,” Sebastian said.
“I would do gigs, appear at various charity events.”
Sebastian also received ambassador payments in the form of free flights and $75k from Air Asia, a camera from Canon and a Bluefin boat.
“I contacted Bluefin and they had told me that they were about to do a festival and instead of buying a boat [they said] ‘why don’t you perform at the festival and we’ll give you a boat instead?’,” Sebastian told the court.
“That was pretty much the arrangement.”
A Dreamworld ambassador arrangement worth $96,000 was also mentioned in Mr Day’s affidavit, along with an $82,000 Sebastian received from audio company Bose in addition to a public address system, speakers, headphones and an amplifier.
Sebastian said Mr Day’s claim he received about $10,000 worth of goods from audio company Sennheiser was wrong.
“I have no idea where he would have gotten that figure from,” Sebastian told the court.
“All I have is a set of headphones from Sennheiser.”
Sebastian said told the court a claim Mr Day negotiated a reduction in architect Joe Snell’s fees, charged for designing Sebastian’s Maroubra home, was also wrong.
On Thursday Sebastian was due to continue giving evidence but the court was told Judge Peter Zahra had become ill and the trial was adjourned until Monday.