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15-329MR Director jailed for misappropriating $750,000
A Melbourne property company director who used his position to misappropriate over $750,000 has been jailed following an ASIC investigation.
Appearing before the Victorian County Court last Friday 6 November, Anthony Nicholls, 63, of Mitcham, was sentenced to four years and six months in jail, and directed to serve a minimum of three years before being released.
Mr Nicholls pleaded guilty in May 2015 to three charges of dishonestly using his position as a director of Zantholls International Pty Ltd (Zantholls) and Peton Properties Pty Ltd (Peton) to misappropriate the money from investors (refer: 15-107MR).
ASIC Commissioner John Price said:" Directors are important gatekeepers in the financial system."
"Today’s judgment shows director dishonesty will be treated in line with other forms of dishonest conduct and there is a very good prospect of having to serve real jail time."
In handing down her sentence, Judge Jane Patrick said: "It was serious offending involving dishonesty over a considerable period of time resulting in people losing their entire life savings and future security. Mr Nicholls had placed multiple nails in the coffin of a terminally ill business and his moral culpability was high".
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.
Peton was placed into liquidation during October 2007, owing creditors more than $4 million.
The liquidator of Peton received funding from ASIC via the Assetless Administration Fund to prepare a detailed report on his investigation into the company.
Zantholls was deregistered by ASIC in April 2009.
In 2014, Mr Nicholls was ordered to stand trial on range of criminal charges as a director of Zantholls and Peton. (refer: 14-037MR).
Editor's note 1:
On 3 February 2016, Mr Nicholls filed an appeal against his sentence, after receiving leave from the Court to do so out of time. The appeal is yet to be set down for hearing.
Editor's note 2:
The hearing date for the appeal has been set down for 20 April 2016.