Fiat Chrysler Australia executive in trouble over misuse of company funds

While the merger to create FCA was coming together, its managing director for Australia, Clyde Campbell, was allegedly racking up 30 million Australian dollars ($23.1 million) in spending for himself, family, and friends. Now, the former boss is facing a court case from the automaker's legal team for the purported misappropriation.

Among the more opulent expenses that Campbell allegedly put on Chrysler's tab included a 40-foot yacht worth the equivalent of $308,000 and lavish Christmas parties for workers, according to The Age. Despite being required to only travel in economy class and get permission for international travel, he also reportedly racked up the equivalent of over $413,000 travel expenses. "The more we dug, the more we found," said an unnamed source to The Age.

Campbell came to power in Australia as a general manager for DaimlerChrysler, and became managing director in October 2010. He was reportedly a close friend with former Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Ernst Lieb. After Lieb lost his wrongful dismissal lawsuit, Campbell allegedly helped his friend's partnership in an Aussie auto dealer by using FCA funds for financial support totaling the equivalent of about $3 million.

All of this came to light when Pat Dougherty came over from the US to be president and CEO of FCA Australia in December 2014. The staff spilled the full story on Dougherty's first day. "I walked into his office and let it all out. I don't think he knew what hit him," another source said to The Age. A team of forensic accountants was brought in to investigate.

The reason that this took so long to discover was that no one was paying attention. First, sales in Australia were growing under Campbell. Also, "in my opinion, back in Michigan, head office didn't have its eyes on the road. They only had eyes on the Fiat deal," an insider said to The Age. That confluence essentially provided the perfect storm for this huge spending.

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