Monday, January 4, 2010

Devine sues former employee over espionage claims

TWO of Queensland's biggest construction firms have been drawn into a legal battle involving allegations of commercial espionage, fraud and embezzlement of more than $500,000.

Devine Industries Pty Ltd is suing the former personal assistant of founding director David Devine in the Supreme Court for $570,000.

Mr Devine accuses Gissel Alves of leaking corporate secrets to the Queensland head of Leighton Properties, with whom he alleges she shared an "intimate personal relationship".

Last month Mr Devine lodged an affidavit accusing his secretary of more than 10 years of embezzling money by altering cheques and making fraudulent claims for travel, accommodation and other expenses.

Mr Devine also claimed in the court documents that Leighton Properties state manager Andrew Borger was the recipient of hundreds of emails from Ms Alves undermining him and the company. "During the course of their relationship, Ms Alves had sent a large number of emails to Mr Borger disclosing, and attaching, highly confidential information and documents," his affidavit claimed.


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