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Tuesday 13 November 2007

07-295 ASIC disqualifies six directors

ASIC has disqualified six directors in October from managing corporations following their involvement in failed companies.

Ms Dominique Field

ASIC has disqualified payment systems developer, Ms Dominique Field, of Baulkham Hills, New South Wales, from managing corporations for the maximum period of five years.

Ms Field’s disqualification follows an ASIC investigation into her role in six failed companies, Think Global Systems Pty Ltd, Cabepay Pty Ltd, Mobepay Pty Ltd, Think Systems Pty Ltd, Australian Corporate Traders Pty Ltd and Nationwide Cards Pty Ltd.

ASIC’s investigation found that Ms Field failed to ensure that the companies maintained proper books and records, failed to assist the liquidators, and allowed an undischarged bankrupt to be involved in the management of a number of the companies.

ASIC also found that Ms Field used her position as a director of Nationwide Cards Pty Ltd to obtain an advantage for herself by transferring assets of Nationwide Cards Pty Ltd to another company of which she was a director.

Ms Suzanne Evelyn Cameron

ASIC has disqualified property developer, Ms Suzanne Evelyn Cameron, of Cremorne, New South Wales, from managing corporations for the maximum period of five years.

Ms Cameron’s disqualification follows an ASIC investigation into her role in seven failed companies, Berry Street Investments Pty Ltd, PDE Investments No 3 Pty Ltd, PDE Investments No 5 Pty Ltd, PDE Investments No 9 Pty Ltd, Property Development Enterprises No 3 Pty Ltd, Manly Apartment Leasing Pty Ltd and Manly Waterfront Developments Pty Ltd.

ASIC’s investigation found all companies failed owing substantial amounts to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and that Ms Cameron failed to assist the liquidators of each company and failed to ensure that all companies maintained proper books and records. ASIC also found that Ms Cameron allowed Berry Street Investments Pty Ltd to lodge with the ATO false Business Activity Statements resulting in the payment GST refunds to which it was not entitled.

Mr Christopher Owen Ruck

ASIC has disqualified fitness centre operator, Mr Christopher Owen Ruck, of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, from managing corporations for four years.

The disqualification of Mr Ruck follows an ASIC investigation into his role in the failed companies ACN 097 400 738 Pty Ltd (formerly Inspired Life Pty Ltd) and Osborne Park Gym Pty Ltd.

ASIC’s investigation found that the companies failed owing statutory debts to the ATO and significant amounts to unsecured creditors. In relation to Inspired Life Pty Ltd, Mr Ruck failed to lodge Business Activity Statements and income tax returns since the company commenced trading and allowed the company to trade while insolvent.

ASIC also found that Mr Ruck breached his duties as a director of Inspired Life Pty Ltd in that, following the sale of the business, he allowed certain creditors to be paid where he had provided a personal guarantee but failed to ensure other creditors, including the ATO, were paid.

Mr Andrew Careri

ASIC has disqualified builder, Mr Andrew Careri, of Varsity Lakes, Queensland, from managing corporations for four years.

Mr Careri’s disqualification follows an ASIC investigation into his role in two failed companies, Deluxe Homes (VIC) Pty Ltd and Lianna Homes Pty Ltd.

ASIC’s investigation found that Mr Careri failed to ensure that both companies maintained proper books and records and that he allowed Deluxe Homes (VIC) Pty Ltd to trade while insolvent.

Mr Niel William English

ASIC has disqualified earthmoving contractor, Mr Niel William English, of Riverstone, New South Wales, from managing corporations for three years.

Mr English’s disqualification follows an ASIC investigation into his role in two failed companies, Rocks Civil Contracting Pty Ltd and Rocks Excavations and Plant Hire Pty Ltd.

ASIC’s investigation found that Mr English allowed funds intended for Rocks Civil Contracting Pty Ltd to be diverted to another person after the liquidator had been appointed. Mr English’s control over the company’s funds had been suspended upon the appointment of the liquidator and this diversion of funds was to the detriment of the company and its creditors. ASIC also found that Mr English allowed Rocks Excavations and Plant Hire Pty Ltd to trade while they were insolvent.

Mr Garry Helmut Zaska

ASIC has disqualified property developer, Mr Garry Helmut Zaska, of Dora Creek, New South Wales, from managing corporations for three years.

Mr Zaska’s disqualification follows an ASIC investigation into his role in two failed companies, Pridecorp Pty Ltd and LS Zaska & Sons Pty Ltd.

ASIC’s investigation found that both companies failed owing substantial amounts to the ATO and that Mr Zaska failed to ensure that both companies maintained proper books and records. ASIC also found that Mr Zaska failed to provide a report as to affairs to the liquidator of Pridecorp Pty Ltd.

The above disqualified persons have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

Assetless Administration Fund

These latest disqualifications bring the total to 25 for the 07/08 financial year and reflect the agency’s commitment to addressing phoenix activity and removing directors who fail to fulfill their responsibilities to creditors.

Phoenix activity is typically associated with directors who transfer the assets of an indebted company into a new company of which they are also directors. The director then places the initial company into administration or liquidation with no assets to pay creditors, meanwhile continuing the business using the new company structure.

ASIC’s ability to tackle phoenix activity was enhanced by the introduction of the Assetless Administration Fund in October 2005 which allows ASIC to fund preliminary investigations by liquidators into the failure of companies with few or no assets.

‘The Assetless Administration Fund has enabled liquidators to be funded to properly investigate the affairs of assetless companies and then report to ASIC. Such reports have in turn lead to ASIC taking action to disqualify directors who fail to act in the best interests of their companies and whose actions are considered detrimental to the employees and creditors of those companies.’ said ASIC’s Executive Director of Consumer Protection, Mr Greg Tanzer.

 

Last updated: 23/03/2016 03:17