THE co-director of a large horse stud south of Tamworth systematically defrauded the business of millions of dollars by invoicing them for thousands of tonnes of oats and hay which he never provided, a Sydney court has heard.
Rajesh Chimanlal Upadhyaya is facing 14 counts of fraud in relation to more than a hundred false invoices which he allegedly issued while a director of the Emirates Park horse stud near Murrurundi.
He has pleaded not guilty.
In his opening address to Mr Upadhyaya’s trial in the Downing Centre District Court on Thursday, Crown Prosecutor Guy Newton said that the accused was responsible for ordering hay and oats to feed the foals and yearlings at Emirates Park between 2005 and 2010.
However, at the same time, Mr Upadhyaya allegedly had a controlling interest in two horse feed companies – Tamworth Quality Grains and Feedpoint – which supplied the farm.
He allegedly charged Emirates Park for tens of thousands of tonnes of oats and hay which was supposed to
be provided by these feed companies.
However, this feed was allegedly up to 10 times more than the horses on the stud could ever possibly eat and was ever actually provided.
“A very, very significant proportion of the amounts invoiced were never in fact supplied and it’s in this sense that the Crown says the invoices were false,” Mr Newton said.
“Once the money is banked (by the feed companies) it was then transferred into another company controlled by the accused, the Yashraj family trust.”
Mr Upadhyaya then allegedly filtered the money back into his own pockets through various bank accounts, a credit card and other companies.
Mr Newton said that in 2006 alone Tamworth Quality Grains issued 26 fraudulent invoices to Emirates Park for more than 34,000 bails of hay valued at $783,705.
Mr Upadhyaya then allegedly paid the allegedly fraudulent invoices by writing 19 separate cheques in his position as a co-director of Emirates Park.
The following year Tamworth Quality Grains allegedly invoiced Emirates for 4,600 tonnes of oats.
The trial continues.