Guy Sebastian’s longtime manager was found guilty of embezzling the Australian Idol winner’s money.
A jury found Titus Day guilty of some of the 47 charges he faced at a New South Wales District Court trial after deliberating for nearly a week.
Day was previously found not guilty on three counts after being accused of stealing nearly $900,000 from the pop star.
The trial has been marred by woes, including the death of original judge Peter Zahra, the firing of five jurors, and Sebastian’s contract with Covid-19.
Day managed Sebastian for about a decade until November 2017 when the singer terminated their contract in a traumatic breakup.
The court that heard Sebastian later found ‘irregularities’ in financial records showing he still owed payments before Day and in July 2018 the performer filed an application. civil action against him.
The amounts that Day allegedly embezzled ranged from $361.34 in royalties to $187,524 in performance fees. An ambassadorial fee of $21,000.
Guy Sebastian (pictured with his wife Jules) accused his former manager of stealing nearly $900,000 between 2013 and 2020. Titus Day was found guilty of some of the 47 embezzlement charges on Thursday afternoon.
Titus Day (pictured) has been found guilty of embezzling money from his former star client Guy Sebastian. He was previously acquitted by a NSW District Court jury on three counts of embezzlement at the direction of the presiding judge.
Judge Tim Gartelmann ordered the jury to return not guilty verdicts on three counts of embezzlement on June 9 after prosecutors admitted Day had no cases to answer.
Day managed Sebastian through 6 Degrees from 2009 to 2017 and allegedly embezzled nearly $900,000 from the musician between 2013 and 2020.
The 49-year-old has pleaded not guilty to 50 charges including fraud in royalties and performance fees allegedly owed to Sebastian.
Judge Gartelmann said the prosecution had failed to prove Day had stolen a total of $14,600 on three counts and that those charges must be dropped.
Those charges related to Day allegedly embezzled royalty payments of $13,380.60, $936 and $361.34 from 2014 to 2020.
Defense attorney Dominic Toomey SC filed for acquittal after the case was closed, which Crown prosecutor David Morters SC agreed to after admitting there was no evidence.
Judge Gartelmann said: “There is simply no evidence that the defendant committed what is alleged to constitute any offence.
Judge Gartelmann also told the jury that if they found Day not guilty of any of the remaining 47 counts, he would also have to be acquitted of the corresponding fallback charge. less theft.
“I’m telling you this… so you can ignore, for now, the counted alternatives and focus on the key metrics,” he said.
Guy Sebastian (pictured) insists all he did was according to the book, the District court heard
Judge Gartelmann stressed that does not mean he has any views on the strength of the Crown case, saying his decision only concerns matters of law.
He said the trial would be completed earlier than expected because the defense did not present any evidence.
Judge Gartelmann told the jury: ‘The defendant exercised his right to remain silent in refusing to do so. ‘He was under no obligation to give evidence or make phone calls at all.
‘The defendant doesn’t need to prove anything… the fact that he didn’t call or give any evidence cannot be used against him in any way. No inference can be drawn from it. ‘
The jury was told about a ‘harsh and hostile’ breakup between the manager and the musician, before Sebastian filed a civil lawsuit against Day in July 2018, when he discovered that he owes money.
Two years later, he approached police when he allegedly discovered ‘criminal behaviour’.
Mr Morters told the jury that Day, who was due to pay a 20% commission on Sebastian’s earnings, kept the money paid into his account that should have gone to the singer.
“It is clear from the financial records that you have obtained that he dispersed these funds in a manner that was not in the interest of Mr. Sebastian,” Mr Morters said in his closing remarks.
‘In fact, he embezzled that money from Mr Sebastian. He never paid it according to his obligations, he used it for other purposes. ‘
But Mr Toomey sent his client answers to all the allegations and suggested that authorities were probably seduced by Sebastian’s high profile profile.
Day told police that the leader of the ranking owes him $1.2 million in unpaid commissions.
‘Why wasn’t he arrested for fraud, for not paying me a commission?’ Day said in the July 2020 interview played the jury role. ‘I do not understand it.’
Jules Sebastian arrives at Downing Center District Court in Sydney to give evidence against Day in her husband’s ex-manager embezzlement trial
The first Australian Idol winner completed her cross-examination on May 24 but was called back to the witness box last week after another witness revealed that the pair exchanged text messages on disputed evidence.
In 2016, Christian Bugno arranged for the artist to perform at his Venice wedding and said his father paid for Sebastian and Day’s business class flights.
The witness revealed Sebastian texted him on May 23 at 12.27am local time in Las Vegas, where Mr Bugno lives, saying: ‘Sorry bro but this is urgent for me have to go to court’.
Text exchange between Guy Sebastian and Christian Bugno while the Australian Idol winner was in the witness stand
Mr. Toomey asked to call Sebastian back so he could ask him about the exchange.
While Sebastian was ordered by Judge Gartelmann not to discuss the evidence he ‘you must provide’, he was granted immunity on May 23 to meet Crown about past testimony.
‘Do you think you’re not breaking that direction?’ Mr. Toomey said.
Sebastian replied, “All I did was follow the book.
After being brought to court with an ‘incorrect bill’, Sebastian knew Mr Bugno would have records of payments for the flights so he thought it was obvious to ask him to do them.
Guy Sebastian (pictured with wife Jules) is called back to the witness box during his former manager’s trial at NSW District Court
Mr. Bugno testified that he repeatedly contacted a company called Vogue Entertainment to arrange for Sebastian to perform at his wedding.
When there was no response, he contacted Sebastian directly, who performed at his 21st birthday.
Mr. Bugno said he did not receive any invoices from Vogue but did pay performance fees to Day’s company, 6 Degrees.
Mr Toomey asked Sebastian about a meeting he had with Mr Morters and his junior attorney about Mr Bugno’s evidence.
“I told Crown I knew I could text him directly,” Sebastian said. ‘I know Mr Day didn’t pay for the flights, so I get the information I know they’ll need, not just my word on it.’