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Thursday 16 August 2018

18-240MR ASIC disqualifies former director from managing companies for maximum period for engaging in illegal phoenix activity

ASIC has disqualified Jason Andrew Hammond of Cameron Park, NSW, from managing companies for the maximum period of five years as a result of his involvement in three failed companies. 

ASIC found that Mr Hammond:

  • improperly used his corporate position by causing assets to be transferred for little or no consideration to the detriment of unsecured creditors;
  • failed to prevent some of the companies from trading while possibly 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;
  • continues to behave without regard for the law and his professional responsibilities as a director and an accountant; and
  • engaged in phoenix activity by transferring the business of an indebted company to a new company leaving the initial company with no assets to pay creditors while continuing what was essentially the same business using the new company.

The three companies were: 

  • LLM Rivits Pty Ltd (ACN 104 453 250)
  • Dongrove Pty Ltd (ACN 064 964 450)
  • ACN 125 277 250 Pty Ltd (ACN 125 277 250) - formerly known as Newcastle Bridal House Pty Ltd.                                                              

In making its decision to disqualify Mr Hammond, ASIC relied on reports lodged by liquidators of the failed companies. ASIC assisted the liquidators of ACN 125 277 250 Pty Ltd (formerly known as Newcastle Bridal House Pty Ltd) and LLM Rivits Pty Ltd to prepare supplementary reports that were used to disqualify Mr Hammond by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

The total amount of debts owed by the three companies to creditors was almost $1.4 million. 

Mr Hammond's disqualification took effect from 11 August 2018 and extends to 10 August 2023.

Background

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 is a member of the Phoenix Taskforce, which comprises federal, state and territory government agencies who collaborate to combat illegal phoenix activity. The aim of the Phoenix Taskforce is to provide a whole-of-government approach to identify, disrupt and prosecute those who engage in or facilitate illegal phoenix activity.

Suspected phoenix activity can be reported to the Phoenix Taskforce on 1800 060 062 or online at the ATO website.

Last updated: 09/07/2019 02:55