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18-154MR ASIC disqualifies Sydney restaurateur from managing companies for five years
ASIC has disqualified Sydney restaurateur Mr Frank Anthony Criniti of Castle Hill, NSW, from managing companies for the maximum period of five years as a result of his involvement in seven failed companies.
Mr Criniti’s disqualification follows the appointment of liquidators to seven companies he managed or acted as a de facto director - Ozdime Pty Ltd ACN 141 976 909, Auswide Auto Wholesalers Pty Ltd ACN 141 149 313, Freddaisy Pty Ltd ACN 143 196 025, Global Hospitality Pty Ltd ACN 164 839 329, Rackforce Pty Ltd ACN 149 141 471, Diamondwish Pty Ltd ACN 152 124 377 and Frank Masons Pty Ltd ACN 146 034 808.
ASIC found that Mr Criniti had:
- improperly used his corporate position to gain an advantage for himself and others;
- provided false information to authorities;
- failed to prevent some of the companies from trading whilst potentially insolvent;
- failed to pay tax and ensure that proper financial records were kept;
- failed to exercise his duties as a director with due care and diligence;
- failed to comprehensively monitor company operations and financial position; and
- acted as a de facto director, assuming responsibility for the management of companies while not appointed as a director.
ASIC relied on supplementary reports that were lodged by liquidators Ozem Kassem & Jason Tang of Cor Cordis for Auswide Auto Wholesalers Pty Ltd and Freddaisy Pty Ltd and by Steven Gladman of Hall Chadwick for Global Hospitality Pty Ltd. ASIC assisted these liquidators in preparing the supplementary reports with funding from the Assetless Administration Fund (AAF).
The total amount owed by the companies to creditors was more than $3.5 million.
Mr Criniti's disqualification extends to 20 May 2023.
Mr Criniti has been given permission to manage the following companies until 30 July 2018 for a limited purpose:
- Criniti’s Pantry (Castle Hill) Pty Ltd ACN 148 094 937;
- Criniti’s (Darling Harbour) Pty Ltd ACN 135 320 697;
- Criniti’s (Woolloomooloo) Pty Ltd ACN 151 744 133;
- Jade’ N Belle Pty Ltd ACN 142 501 522;
- Criniti’s Woodfire Pizza Pty Ltd ACN 135 866 385; and
- Givana Prestige Pty Ltd ACN 147 605 927
Section 206F of the Corporations Act allows ASIC to disqualify a person from managing corporations for up to 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 about the company’s inability to pay its debts.
ASIC also maintains a 'Banned and Disqualified Persons' register that provides information about people who have been disqualified from:
- involvement in the management of a corporation,
- auditing self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), or
- practising in the financial services of credit industry.
ASIC's Small Business Strategy, released in August 2017, includes protecting creditors, employees and small business from directors that mismanage companies. This outcome is an example of ASIC taking such action.