White Sky Clients Allegedly Owed Millions, Victoria Police Assisting With Inquiries
Victoria Police is assisting White Sky with inquiries following an internal investigation that has rocked some of Australian music’s biggest stars.
As first reported by TMN last week, the music industry accounting firm stood down its senior business manager and partner, Damien Luscombe, following an internal investigation into the alleged misappropriation of client funds.
New reporting from the Herald Sun suggests the investigation uncovered “alarming discrepancies” that could total $1.5 million. The masthead said Luscombe had been “duping invoices” and made payments from his client’s bank accounts into his personal accounts over a six-year period.
According to the Herald Sun, Luscombe “got sloppy” over time and was believed to have been motivated to pay off large gambling debts.
White Sky provides accounting and business management services for many of Australia’s most successful artists, including chart-toppers Tame Impala, Amy Shark, Tim Minchin, Vance Joy and Peking Duk.
Victoria Police confirmed that its financial crime squad was assisting White Sky with inquiries, but is yet to launch a full investigation.
“Victoria Police has received a report from an accounting business involving allegations of fraud,” Victoria Police said in a statement.
“Investigators from the Financial Crime Squad have made contact with the organisation to assist with enquiries and are awaiting further information to make an assessment on whether an investigation will proceed.”
According to multiple sources familiar with the inquiries, a number of the firm’s high-profile artist clients have been affected. Reps for some of these clients told TMN that they were both “shocked” and “shaken” by the revelations.
In an email sent from White Sky to its unaffected clients, obtained by TMN, the company confirmed that four to five artists have been compromised.
The business was founded by Tom Harris, launching from his bedroom in 2002 with Rubber Records becoming his first bookkeeping client. He now employs more than 30 people across White Sky’s two offices in Melbourne and Sydney.
TMN is not suggesting any wrongdoing by Harris.
A spokesperson from White Sky told TMN last week that everyone at the firm was in “absolute shock” by the “actions of one individual”.
“We have an incredible team here and we are all united in continuing to support our clients,” they said. “We would like to assure our clients, that we are committed to working through this with their interests at heart.”
Luscombe made headlines in June after he gave evidence during the trial of Guy Sebastian’s former manager Titus Day, having previously been The Voice Australia star’s business manager at White Sky for a number of years from 2015.
Day, who was found guilty of embezzling more than $620,000 from Sebastian, told the Herald Sun on Friday that his lawyers were watching “with keen interest”.
“They will be liaising with the Victorian police in the coming weeks and as their investigation unfolds,” Day said.