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17-027MR Former listed public company director sentenced to ten years imprisonment for dishonest conduct
Former TZ Limited director, Andrew John Sigalla, was today sentenced to ten years imprisonment, with a minimum of six years to serve, having been found guilty on 22 November 2016 of 24 counts of dishonest conduct, following a jury trial in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
The jury found that Mr Sigalla used his position as a director dishonestly to gain financial advantage by causing $8.6 million in company funds to be transferred to either himself, his related entities or others, contrary to section 184(2) of the Corporations Act (refer: 13-108MR and 14-311MR and 16-402MR).
The offences related to transfers of funds from the accounts of TZ Limited between December 2006 and March 2009. In relation to one of the counts, there was a transfer of TZ Limited shares worth approximately $500,000 to a company based in Hong Kong. The funds transferred to Mr Sigalla's accounts were largely used to reduce his debt with bookmaker Tom Waterhouse or to make mortgage payments on behalf of one of his personal companies.
Her Honour Justice Adamson said, 'The offending conduct took place over a period of more than two years in circumstances which demonstrated considerable deception, ingenuity, opportunism and greed.'
'Private investment in public companies is a significant aspect of the market economy. If potential investors fear that the directors of public companies will misuse their positions to their own advantage, they will be loath to invest and the market will be deprived of capital which would otherwise have been available.'
ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'This sentence reflects the gravity of the offending in this case and shows that the courts take offences involving dishonesty by company directors seriously.'
'This should serve as a timely reminder to company directors about the serious consequences of failing to act with propriety.'
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
On 1 March 2017 Mr Sigalla lodged with the Court a Notice of Intention to appeal against conviction and sentence.
Editor's note 2:
On 18 November 2019, Mr Sigalla filed with the Court of Appeal of the New South Wales Supreme Court an application for an extension of time to appeal, an application for leave to appeal against sentence and an appeal against conviction.
The Court has listed Mr Sigalla’s applications, along with an application by him for a grant of bail, for hearing on 1 July 2020.
Editor's note 3:
On 1 July 2020, the Court of Appeal heard Mr Sigalla’s applications and reserved its decision.