Howard asked millionaire for fridge favour despite previous unpaid bills

EXPLOSIVE court documents allege developer Mark Howard asked his former neighbour and Harvey Norman Commercial boss Steve Cavalier to send new fridges to one of his projects, despite earlier bills to the retailer not being paid.The builder for three Howard Group projects, TPD Builders,has launched court action against three Howard companies,claiming it was owed more than $1.7 million by the developer.

Subcontractors of the builder say they’re owed millions for their work. Former V8 Supercar driver Mr Howard lived down the road from Mr Cavalier on Millionaire’s Row before his sprawling Hedges Ave property was auctioned by mortgagees in 2014.

An affidavit, accompanied by invoices and lodged by TPD director Aaron Thompson, said bills for appliances and fittings delivered to Howard Group’s 19 Broadbeach Avenue project had not been paid when additional fridges were ordered.When Harvey Norman refused to deliver the fridges until the account was settled, Mr Howard emailed Mr Cavalier directly, promising the account would be paid once buyers had settled their contracts on the luxury units, which had starting prices of $2.8 million, the affidavit said.

A copy of the alleged email from Mr Howard’s email address to Mr Cavalier, submitted to the court, said “Thank you for returning the call last night”.“Need a bit of assistance. The fridges below need delivery and we understand Aaron’s account is maxed out. Settlements are Wednesday/Thursday next week and we need installing prior. The account can be fixed up after settlement. Can the fridges be released? ”Mr Thompson’s affidavit said the fridges were subsequently delivered to the development and contracts for the sale of the units in which the fridges were installed settled.“Despite Mr Howard’s promise to Steve Cavalier, the amount owing by the (builder) to (Harvey Norman) was not paid on settlement of contracts for the sale of units in the development,”the affidavit said.

Documents tendered to the court included invoices from Harvey Norman to the builder for thousands of dollars worth of applicances and fittings as well as an email from Harvey Norman’s accounts department to Mr Howard and Mr Thompson asking for an overdue payment of $68,745 be given their“urgent attention”.

Mr Thompson declined to comment and Mr Howard did not answer his phone yesterday.we also tried unsuccessfully to contact Mr Cavalier.The Queensland Building and Construction Commission suspended TPD Builders’ licence last week after “moniesowed”complaints.

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