Elite Caravans Survives $1,000,000 Embezzlement

Article by · December 14, 2017 ·

UPDATE: A man has been arrested – read the unfolding story here.

Original story: Elite Caravans has allegedly been embezzled by up to $1,000,000 by one of its employees, the company has said when ROAM spoke with owner Adrian Capolla. An email sent to customers earlier this week advised that “Elite Caravans has detected a sophisticated fraud that has perpetrated against it by an employee/contractor over a protracted period of time.”

We’re doing pretty well, given the circumstances,” Mr Capolla said, “and we’re definitely still in the business of building caravans for our customers.”

It’s alleged one of Elite’s sales representatives had been taking deposits and part payments on floor stock caravans, but depositing the money into his own bank accounts. Amounts are unconfirmed, but its alleged payments between $15,000 and $20,000 at a time were unscrupulously taken from customers.

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“This is a big hit to the company, no doubt about it,” says Mr Capolla, “but importantly, we’re very committed to delivering the caravans people have bought, even while we continue to pursue legal avenues to recoup the money. No customers will be left in the lurch.” According to Mr Capolla, police are investigating the matter, which was initially discovered when a customer questioned where their money had been deposited.

Elite Caravans is a renowned Victorian caravan manufacturer, which has twice been awarded for its manufacturing standards and quality of product. The company custom builds most of its product to customer desire, often creating bold products like off-road ready Dirty Harry or Balistic. The company’s on-road caravans are typically highly featured and focused on luxury living.

Any Elite Caravans customers concerned, or who have questions should direct them to qa@elitecaravans.com.au

mm

About Brendan Batty

ROAM's fearless editor, Brendan's most often found searching for the next best campsite, or fixing his caravan so it will make it to just one more.

19 Comments

  • comment-avatar

    Nixons

    Who is the salesman involved? Interested!

    • mm

      Brendan Batty

      Elite wouldn’t say, but we’re sure it will be revealed eventually

  • comment-avatar

    Aren’t Elite on the FB lemon list?

    • mm

      Brendan Batty

      Isn’t everyone?

      • comment-avatar

        Mike Coleman

        No Brendan,
        43 manufacturers on the Lemon List from 107 manufacturers operating as at 31/7/17. See here for list of manufacturers – https://caravanbuyersguide.com.au/caravan-makers/
        Prospective buyers have 64 ‘not on the lemon list’ to choose from – that’s 60% .
        It seems that you have a set against that FB page – a journalist should be impartial, but you have shown a bias through your ‘isn’t everyone’ comment . I don’t expect this reply to survive your ego.

        • mm

          Brendan Batty

          I’m skeptical of this part of the list – “The veracity of claims by members is not fully checked by the administration” and “a manufacturer or dealer may only have one complaint”.

          • comment-avatar

            LOL, The lemon list has ZERO credibility. Its an untrained, unqualified persons opinion and not based on fact or evidance at all. Companies have been listed before they ever sold a single van, others have gone well beyond for their clients and still listed. The claims of the author of the list were found to be false when an independant person inspected her van and found they had modified it and had unauthorised work done and wanted MORE than the van cost as a refund. Its just a witch hunt site to further an agenda of 1 person. Disagree with her view and banned. Of course she has her minions out to defend her but they have even less credibility.

  • comment-avatar

    Kay

    That is terrible, but what about their suppliers whom they owe money to? They are still waiting for payment,some from April 2017.

    • comment-avatar

      Ange

      Not sure which business(s) you’re talking about, but our business is also one waiting for payment from April 2017.

  • comment-avatar

    Colin Campbell

    I bought an Elite Diamond Atlantic over 3 Years Ago and have had nothing but problems it’s a lemon and I have the pictures to prove it Keep Away from this mob !!!

  • comment-avatar

    GregC

    Our experience with Elite has been nothing but positive over the 3 years since buying our Balistic Armageddon. We order a top shelf van with custom features and Elite delivered brilliantly. We attended the factory on 2 ocassions throughout the manufacturing process and were greeted and treated like family.

    • comment-avatar

      Ange

      That’s all fine for you Greg C, but they are trying to recover their poor name in the industry by changing their name to Balistic RV, and are distancing themselves from those they have done the wrong thing by.
      Of course you will be treated well, if you started finding issues with whatever you’re getting built, then you will see the side many others have seen.
      Good luck, hope you don’t have to see the other side.

  • comment-avatar

    Darren L

    I’m not happy with my lemon from this supplier….. 40 plus warranty items. They also got the weights wrong on the plate. Legal action is the only way to move forward as they will not listen. They should be on the list. Adrian’s Comment “No customer will be left in the lurch” is in my opinion not correct.

  • comment-avatar

    WE bought a Balistic from them less than two years ago.What a lemon!! After our last trip on the Gibb River Road heaps of repairs were needed, 4 shockies on one side needed replacing, fridge liner was split,fridge had to be replaced, stove was replaced it had moved and cracked. We couldn’t keep the dust out.Elite wouldn’t cough up a penny for these repairs eve though we had done all the right things while on the road,let our tires down and traveled at a realist pace (we wre traveling with others.)

  • comment-avatar

    Marten & Diana

    My wife and I are so very proud of our Goulburn 1810 Off Road and to date the service is 100% and so very prompt in an and all queries we initially had all be they were minor.We cant speak highly enough of the professional attention to all are needs and to date have covered some 25,000 kms throughout Western Australia.We are 100 % behind Elite

  • comment-avatar

    Mike

    Yeah l have played email tag for over 18 months sent all invoices as requested re repairs (alignment , shockers, electrical, fridge and items falling off etc. Palmed off to every other 3rd party but not 1 item was Elites problem it appears the van is assembled in outer space. I’m a real Dirty Harry pardon the pun!!!!

  • comment-avatar

    Ange

    In February 2018, Adrian Capolla started another business called Balistic RV. In April 2018, Elite Caravans & Elite Caravan Sales (NSW) went into liquidation.
    The fraud matter mentioned in this article is the excuse Capolla is using for Elite Caravans failing. He has transferred ownership/used/ignored and conducted himself in a very poor manner and is not being honest about what he has done to people (businesses & customers) while under the banner of Elite Caravans.
    He has publicly stated it is “business as usual” and “No customers will be left in the lurch”.
    It’s no wonder it’s business as usual for him, because he doesn’t have to find the money lost on top of the M$1 his previous worker stole, that is supposedly going to be reimbursed from the insurer.
    If the insurance covered the theft, why did Elite have to go into liquidation? Obviously poor business practices and management resulted in a greater debt than just the theft.
    Elite caravans hasn’t survived the embezzelment. It is now Balistic RV going forward, and Elite Caravans is over – except where it is in Capolla’s best interest!

  • comment-avatar

    John

    Accurate comments from Ange…thanks

  • comment-avatar

    Dollin

    It appears that I am not the only one left to handle the expense of repairs to what I was led to believe was the industries best and most reputable manufacturer. I have an Elite Goulbourn Lite supplied by Lewis RV in Western Australia. I foolishly believed that Lewis RV would represent the products that they sell with the vigor they sold them along with the promises that mean nothing.
    I currently have an off road van that I cannot tow due to faulty rims that have broken down to the point there is a high risk of them blowing out.
    As a responsible citizen I care enough that I will not put other peoples life at risk and therefore have to remedy the situation at my expense.

    Please pass this information all Elite Van users that have Performance Rims on them as it is highly probable that I am not the only one with this issue.


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