This is how Guy Sebastian allegedly lost $1.15m
Trust. It once existed between Guy Sebastian and his former manager Titus Day but over more than a decade it crumbled.
Now a trust account and allegations of a significant fraud are the only things that bind them together.
In court documents seen by news.com.au this week, police allege Mr Day did not forward Sebastian more than $1.15 million in earnings belonging to him between 2013 and 2020.
The amounts, ranging from $109 to $214,000, were allegedly transferred "to another" every few months.
These allegedly included 19 of 24 payments from overseas royalties agency Premier Muzik.
The judge on The Voice began his working relationship with the 47-year-old's company back in 2005 - two years after he became the inaugural winner of Australian Idol.
After 12 years, the singer and Mr Day parted ways in November 2017.
In that time, Sebastian supported Taylor Swift's Red Tour of Australia in 2013, performed at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest and released multiple studio albums with Sony Music.
"After 12 great years together I'm very sad to be losing Guy as a client," Mr Day said in a statement at the time.
"But he is a wonderful talent and a good person, so I wish him well in everything he does."
The pair have since been at loggerheads in the Federal Court, suing each other over commissions and royalties totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"Guy says I'm withholding money from him, and I say he's withholding money from me," Mr Day told The Music Network last month.
"That's the essence of the whole case and we'll leave it to the judge to decide."
According to his LinkedIn, Mr Day has 20 years of experience as a talent manager, agent and commercial lawyer in Australia and the US and formed 6 Degrees Management in July 2009.
"It has set out with the goal of becoming a leader in the field of personal management of media personalities, artists, athletes and celebrities," his managing director profile states.
"6 Degrees offers exclusive services and expertise to its clients in the fields of television, radio, print media, music, sports, licensing, publishing and crisis management."
The management firm went into liquidation last year.
FORMER MANAGER FRONTS COURT
On June 3 this year, police in Sydney's south received a report from Sebastian of alleged fraud committed against him.
Investigators arrested Mr Day on Wednesday night at his Bondi home, which according to its sale history was bought in February 2018 for $4.2 million.
Mr Day was charged with 61 counts of financially obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The charge, if proven, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment in NSW.
Wearing a black jumper and appearing via video link in Waverley Local Court on Thursday, Mr Day successfully applied for bail.
"The charges will be defended but we don't wish to say anything else," his lawyer, Lauren MacDougall, told reporters outside court.
"He will be fighting the charges."
Citing the police facts, Magistrate Ross Hudson told the court police "strongly believe there are more high-profile victims" and the matter is "not isolated" to Sebastian.
But Detective Acting Inspector Guy Magee on Thursday said "no formal complaints have been made" and encouraged "anyone who at any time feels they have been the victim of similar offences" to come forward.
The magistrate said Mr Day told police after his arrest that he was the sole person with access to the trust account at the centre of the case, handling "all transactions" in relation to talent.
"He stated the amounts relating to this are currently in the civil court and did not comment further," the magistrate said.
Mr Hudson said only five of the 24 payments from Montreal-based Premier Muzik for Sebastian's services from January 2015 to March 2020 were allegedly paid to the singer.
The other 19 were allegedly either kept in the account or diverted into another account.
Rights collection agency Premier Muzik states online that it "diligently" applies "experience, clarity and transparency to ensure creators are paid every performance royalty owed".
"Our dedicated crew is made up of active musicians and producers who fully endorse the importance of transparency and meticulous attention to repertoire detail," the website reads.
"At Premier Muzik, we've been proactively collecting artist's neighbouring rights royalties since 2001."
Speaking of the money allegedly "siphoned off", the magistrate on Thursday said Mr Day's commission on these payments was 10 per cent.
"It could be said to be a strong prosecution case," he said.
The court heard the celebrity manager currently has a UFC client in the US.
He has also represented Sophie Monk, Grant Denyer, Stephanie Rice, Shannon Noll, Sam Moran and Christine Anu. It is not suggested these people have been defrauded.
In addressing any prosecution concerns about overseas travel, Mr Day's lawyer said he would surrender his passport and while his wife was born in the US, she is a permanent resident in Australia.
Ms MacDougall said her client was born in Nigeria but has lived here since he was 15 and is an Australian citizen.
Mr Hudson granted bail on the condition of a $10,000 surety, that Mr Day report daily to police between 8am and 8pm, not go near any airport and live at his Bondi home.
"He is to have no contact whatsoever under any circumstances with Mr Guy Sebastian except through a legal representative."
He noted Mr Day has no criminal history and was "readily available to be arrested" when police arrived at his home.
"He had not fled the jurisdiction in relation to these matters," he said.
SINGER 'ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATED' BY NEW DETAILS
Sebastian spoke to reporters briefly on Thursday as he drove away from his home in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
The singer and his fashion stylist wife, Jules Sebastian, bought the Maroubra property for $3.1 million in 2013 and completed a controversial construction project in 2019.
Sebastian told reporters he had let police "deal with the rest of the stuff" regarding his ongoing dispute with Mr Day.
But he also released a statement on his Instagram account, noting he was "absolutely devastated to learn the nature and detail" of the charges against his former manager.
"All my income was controlled via Titus into a Trust account and after noticing some disparities in payments, I requested important financial information that I was rightfully entitled to, and upon doing so our relationship began deteriorating," he said.
"Over these last years, my integrity and reputation have been questioned, and many untruths have been publicly stated. For me, this has been deeply personal and this period has been the toughest of my life.
"I hope my case can serve as an example to all artists about the importance of transparency and trust between a manager and an artist."
MONEY ALLEGEDLY 'NOT FORWARDED'
Mr Day is facing 61 of the same fraud charge, totalling more than $1.15 million, however the date and amount related to each alleged offence differs.
The court documents seen by news.com.au allege each was committed in the Sydney suburb of Paddington, where the 6 Degrees Group has an office.
Police allege Mr Day obtained financial advantage by deception "by transferring money to another … to wit, not forwarding the victim's money to the victim".
Here is a breakdown of the amounts allegedly not paid to Sebastian over a seven-year period.
June 29: $39,291.69
December 17: $147,988
January 14: $380.93
March 25: $2212.56
April 10: $24,256.80
July 4: $15,439.15
July 7: $10,000
September 2: $59,400 and $2455.75
October 8: $26,400
October 9: $22,000 and $1283.45
December 19: $1080
January 28: $5670.33
March 5: $1177.92
April 10: $1509.59
May 5: $7203.66
July 1: $214,565.88 and $2627.65
October 19: $1649.86
October 20: $6986.58
November 1: $1333.83
April 4: $1734.10
April 6: $110,305.23
April 21: $4543.05
September 24: $22,012
September 29: $13,505.44
October 24: $7177.46
January 1: $9462
January 20: $5664.34
March 18: $8800
April 4: $13,943.64
April 20: $6066.15 and $6544.44
August 24: $19,800
September 2: $3500
September 7: $19,800
September 28: $109.48
September 29: $16,960.57
October 20: $3243.05
November 25: $15,400
December 1: $77,000
January 15: $3281.74
April 3: $17,285.91
April 23: $3122.73
July 19: $3488.21
August 31: $3643.91
October 3: $36,519.68
October 15: $3324.37
October 24: $1933.91
January 23: $5654.56
March 27: $684
April 2: $20,123.80
April 17: $3037.59
July 2: $4304.04
July 17: $13,793.31
September 27: $1136.97
October 18: $26,481.10, $25,598.57 and $21,468.40
February 28: $760.69
The case will return to Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on July 21.
Originally published as How Guy allegedly lost $1.15 million