Sydney businessman and adult shop owner Con Ange has accused a former employee of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his business.
The 61-year-old owns the “Everything Adult” brand. Ange’s companies operate 10 adult stores across NSW, Victoria, and Queensland, including The Den in Brisbane.
In 2014, the Sydney-based businessman hired Neva Lozzi to assist with the financial side of his adult store businesses.
However he’s now accused Lozzi of stealing more than $787,000 through hundreds of bank transfers while she was in control of finances from 2015 to 2020, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Police have charged her with 29 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception. She has pleaded not guilty in Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney.
In 2018, Ange was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a degenerative brain condition. He alleged Lozzi took advantage of his absence from the business while he sought treatment.
“I employed her as a trusted employee. I thought I could trust her. My concerns were my health,” he told the court.
Lozzi argued Ange gave his full permission for the transactions, which included rent, electricity bills, phone bills, and flights, as part of her remuneration.
Asked why he didn’t notice the payments, Ange replied, “I was too busy trying to stay alive.”
Con Ange and Neva Lozzi had falling out over fraud allegations
Neva Lozzi’s laywer alleged that Con Ange was paying employees in cash, refusing to put them on the books and not submitting his tax returns, the Herald reported.
But Ange denied the allegations and said Lozzi was herself responsible for paying staff and submitting tax returns.
“That’s why I hired Neva, to pay my staff… to pay the taxes, to do the right thing,” he said.
The pair had a falling out early last year, after Ange confronted her over the alleged fraud and went to the police.
Lozzi alleged that at the time, Ange threatened to kill her and harm her family, a claim Ange denied.
“I’ve never threatened a lady in my life. We didn’t have an argument at all,” he told the court.
Magistrate Brett Shields said he will review the “unusual” case before deciding an outcome next month. The case will return to court on March 31.
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