Rex D’Aquino the sole director of Fernbrew in regional New South Wales has again found himself in hot water over his questionable behaviours when it comes to the world of whisky.
Already being ordered on 3 separate occasions to stop selling/marketing fake scotch (2006, 2009 and 2012) and being fined in 1999 for aiding and abetting in smuggling of alcohol into Australia, Mr D’Aquino and Fernbrew where recently hit with a duty tax bill in excess of $87m. This has since been suggested that the first estimate is significantly under what the true figure should be.
Fernbrew went into voluntary administration in January this year after the tax debt becoming apparent. Fernbrew’s fake brands included the Black Scot and Blue cactus Tequila.
Mr D’Aquino has now been referred to the national business watchdog – ASIC. ASIC have the ability to launch criminal prosecutions and are investigating potential civil and criminal breaches of the Corporation Act. On top of this the Scotch Whiskey Association is seeking damages in the federal court.
Although the business has recently gone into administration, there is still plenty to play out in this story. We will continue to bring it to you as it unfolds.