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15-079MR ASIC accepts EU from Western Australian liquidator
ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Perth-based registered liquidator, Ross Stephen Thomson.
ASIC looked at Mr Thomson’s handling of three external administrations and found he failed to properly investigate the affairs of the companies, withdrew approximately $24,200 in remuneration not properly approved, failed to secure assets in a timely manner, did not adequately record his work, and failed to lodge documents with ASIC.
The EU prevents Mr Thomson from accepting any new appointments for three months or alternatively, only accept joint and several appointments with another registered liquidator.
The EU also requires Mr Thomson to improve his systems and procedures, repay the $24,200 and appoint an independent expert to review his practices. The expert will report to ASIC, and ASIC may publish the results of the reports.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, ‘We continue to see similar issues from our surveillance of some insolvency practices; that is, a lack of investigation, not complying with lodgement obligations, poor record keeping and lax practices around remuneration.'
‘Since 2013 ASIC has achieved 20 enforcement-related outcomes relating to liquidators, including cancelling or suspending registrations and entering into voluntary arrangements with liquidators to either exit the industry or engage independent experts to improve their insolvency services.
‘We are committed to sanctioning those few practitioners who do not comply with the high standards the law imposes on them.’
ASIC expects to release its annual report on the supervision of registered liquidators later this week. The report details ASIC’s work aimed at improving the profession including by removing the problem liquidators.
Mr Thomson trades as Red2Black Accounting Solutions.
ASIC’s actions since 2013 against registered liquidators who failed to meet their obligations include:
- accepting an EU from Victorian liquidator, Colin Roland Tuckwell, who has agreed to improve his systems and procedures and have his practice reviewed by an independent expert (refer: 15-030MR).
- former Sydney liquidator, Mark Levi, being charged with two counts of obtaining money by deception, two counts of making a false instrument, two counts of using a false instrument, and two counts of making a false document. (refer: 14-314MR).
- accepting voluntary undertakings from an Adelaide liquidator that involved engaging an independent quality control reviewer to improve his insolvency services (refer: 14-219MR).
- successfully applying to court to have three Melbourne registered liquidators removed as joint liquidators of Walton Constructions Group following concerns about their independence (refer: 14-167MR).
- cancelling the registration of Sydney liquidator, Pino Fiorentino, following a successful application by ASIC to the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB), currently subject to an appeal in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (refer: 14-160MR).
- accepting an EU from Perth liquidator, Simon Roger Coad, who has agreed to improve his systems and procedures and have his practice reviewed by an independent quality reviewer (refer: 14-089MR).
- suspending the registration of liquidator, Alan Godfrey Topp, for six months from 1 May 2014 following a successful application by ASIC to the CALDB (refer: 14-088MR).
- suspending Sydney liquidator, William James Hamilton’s, registration for six months from 3 June 2014, following a successful application by ASIC to the CALDB (refer: 14-080MR).
- cancelling the registration of Melbourne liquidator, Avitus Thomas (Tom) Fernandez, following a successful application by ASIC to the CALDB (refer: 13-308MR).
- obtaining court orders prohibiting the re-registration of Melbourne liquidator, Andrew Leonard Dunner (refer: 13-239MR).
- accepting an EU from Sydney liquidator, Ian Lawrence Struthers, who agreed to ASIC cancelling his registration as a liquidator for a minimum of three years (refer: 13-034MR).
- cancelling the registrations of Sydney liquidator, Peter Roger Grealish (refer: 13-132MR), Melbourne liquidator, Paul Anthony Pattison (refer: 13-033MR), and Peter George Biazos (bankrupted on 24 July 2013).