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Thursday 12 October 2017

17-345MR Former executive chairman of Healthzone found guilty of fraud

Mr Peter David Roach, of Prestons, NSW, has been found guilty of fraud and other related offences in the Sydney District Court today. Mr Roach was the former executive chairman and director of health food chain Healthzone Limited (currently under external administration).

Following an ASIC investigation, Mr Roach was charged with conspiracy to dishonestly obtain a director's loan of $1 million from the company. The $1 million was loaned to Healthzone by CBA for on-lending to Mr Roach to buy shares in Healthzone. Instead, Mr Roach used $900,000 of those funds to settle a family-related property issue and did not purchase any shares with the money from the loan.

On 1 December 2015, Mr Roach pleaded guilty to conspiring with two former directors of Healthzone (Ge Wu and Robert Dulhunty) to commit market manipulation offences. He was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment and served 6 months in prison for those offences.

In addition, Mr Roach was found guilty of two charges in relation to providing false information to the ASX, announcing that he had acquired shares on 14 June 2011 when he had not done so. He was also convicted of six counts relating to the falsification of Healthzone's records, including legal advice obtained from Healthzone's lawyers concerning the loan.

Mr Roach will be sentenced on November 20.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Background

Healthzone listed on the ASX in November 2006 following an initial public offering and was delisted when it was placed into external administration and receivership in November 2011. Healthzone went into liquidation in March 2012.

Mr Wu had previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy with Mr Roach and Mr Dulhunty to commit the market manipulation offences and also to a breach of his director's duties in relation to the $1 million director's loan for Mr Roach. 

Mr Wu was sentenced for these offences in December 2015 and served a period of imprisonment. His period of imprisonment was discounted by 35% for his early guilty plea and he also received a further discount of 5% for his assistance to ASIC and giving evidence in Mr Roach's trial. 

Editor's note:

The sentencing hearing took place on Monday 20 November 2017 and the matter was adjourned to Friday 24 November for sentencing.

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Last updated: 20/11/2017 05:21