Mr Allan Ronald Saunders, of Stafford Heights, Queensland has been convicted and sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to charges related to illegal phoenix activity.
Mr Saunders appeared before the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on 16 November 2018 and was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment on thirteen counts of breaching his director duties. He was released on a two-year, $3000 good behaviour bond.
Mr Saunders, the former director of Metropolitan Design Pty Ltd ACN 144 816 240 (the Company) operated a business of providing drafting, mechanical design and project management services.
An ASIC investigation found that between 13 April 2015 and 22 September 2015, Mr Saunders instructed debtors of the Company to redirect the payments owed to the Company to his personal sole trader bank account. In doing so, Mr Saunders used his position dishonestly with the intention of gaining an advantage for himself.
The Company was subsequently placed into liquidation on 30 September 2015, owing its only creditor, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) $235,626. Mr Saunders actions intentionally set out to deny the ATO money owed to it, conduct commonly associated with illegal phoenix activity.
As a consequence of his conviction, Mr Saunders is automatically disqualified from managing corporations for five years from 16 November 2018.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.
Mr Saunders was convicted of thirteen counts of s184(2) of the Corporations Act.
ASIC commenced an investigation after receiving a report from the liquidator of the Company, Mr Anthony Warner. ASIC provided funding to Mr Warner from the Assetless Administration Fund.
ASIC is a member of the Phoenix Taskforce, which comprises federal, state and territory government agencies who work collectively to combat illegal phoenix activity. The Phoenix Taskforce is a whole-of-government approach to identify, disrupt and prosecute illegal phoenix activity.
Suspected phoenix activity can be reported to the Phoenix Taskforce on 1800 060 062 or online at the ATO website.