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16-156MR ASIC disqualifies Sydney director for five years
ASIC has disqualified Mr Gabriel Ehrenfeld of Sydney from managing corporations for five years. The disqualification commences on 18 May 2016 for five years until 17 May 2021.
The disqualification follows an ASIC investigation into Mr Ehrenfeld's conduct as a director of three listed companies: Shandong Tianye Limited, Reeltime Media Limited and Mazu Alliance Limited, as well as seven private companies. Reeltime Media Limited, Shandong Tianye Limited and all of the private companies have failed.
An ASIC delegate has found that Mr Ehrenfeld:
- has a disregard for the law and compliance with corporate regulations;
- lacks any sense of responsibility for the companies failing; and
- fails to show any contrition or insight into his conduct.
Mr Ehrenfeld did not ensure that the listed companies consistently complied with basic statutory obligations including factors such as:
- preparing and lodging annual and half yearly reports with ASIC;
- reporting to members, including holding annual general meetings;
- having a company secretary and an auditor at all times; and
- maintaining a registered office.
The ASIC delegate also found that Mr Ehrenfeld improperly used his position as a director of Shandong Tianye Limited and transferred $387,500 of funds held on trust to a company wholly controlled by him without authority. He also failed to assist the liquidator and further failed to comply with directions issued to four of his private companies.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'It is fundamental to good corporate governance that directors ensure shareholders are kept fully informed about the company, including by holding annual general meetings and updating members about the accounts of the company.
'In the case of public companies with many shareholders, the importance of reporting and disclosure is imperative, as there are obligations to report publicly to ensure the market is kept informed and enable fully informed trading. Failing to do so is taken very seriously by ASIC', Mr Price said.
Section 206F of the Corporations Act allows ASIC to disqualify persons from managing corporations for a maximum of five years, if, within a seven year period, the person was an officer of two or more companies, and those companies were wound up and a liquidator provides a report to ASIC that the company is unable to repay its debts.