Steve McGovern sacked by Melbourne firm Dubber

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A Melbourne software company has sacked its chief executive for the “likely” unauthorised use of $30m that went missing from the company.

Dubber is a call recording software company, founded by ousted chief executive Steve McGovern and two other “friends” in 2011, a now pulled-down version of its website says.

But an audit late last year found $30m supposedly being held by Christopher William Legal in a term deposit was missing.

Last month, the company told the ASX about $3.4m had been recovered, with $26.6m outstanding.

The funds might have been misused by either or both Mr McGovern and the trustee, the company announced.

This week, Mr McGovern, who was managing director and chief executive, was sacked.

“From the investigation conducted to date, it is alleged that Mr McGovern and the trustee were likely involved in the unauthorised use of those funds, including for purposes which were not for the company’s benefit,” the company announced on Tuesday.

Between mid-2019 and August 2021, Dubber deposited $60m into a trust account for term deposits, but a ledger provided by Christopher William Legal “revealed many unauthorised transfers in and out of the account”, Dubber announced on Tuesday.

“Documents that were likely falsified were presented to the company and its external auditor to support the ongoing existence of the term deposits,” the ASX was told.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Dubber are running their own investigations.

Mr McGovern and Christopher William Legal principal Mark Madafferi have been slapped with bans on leaving the country, sought by ASIC.

Thorney Investment Group executive chairman Alex Waislitz said he was “shocked” by the developments at Dubber.

Nonetheless, Thorney Investment Group, which part-owns Dubber, provided a secured bridging loan of up to $5m in March.

Dubber also launched a $24m capital raise on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Mr McGovern and Mr Madafferi have been approached for comment.

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