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Wednesday 27 February 2019

19-044MR Disciplinary Committee cancels liquidator David Leigh’s registration

The registration of David John Leigh as a liquidator has been cancelled following a decision by a disciplinary committee.

The Committee decided that Mr Leigh had acted dishonestly in arranging the transfers of $800,000 from a liquidation bank account into a bank account that he controlled, and that he was not a fit and proper person to be registered as a liquidator.

Further, the Committee concluded that the regulatory purpose of cancellation would not be achieved if Mr Leigh could still work in the insolvency industry under a registered liquidator.  It also decided that a condition should be imposed on all other registered liquidators that they must not allow Mr Leigh to carry out any of the functions or duties, or exercise any of the powers, of a registered liquidator on their behalf for eight years commencing on 22 February 2019.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'It is important that the community has confidence in the professionalism and conduct of the corporate insolvency system.  Registered liquidators are in a position of trust and must act honestly in the protection and administration of ‘other people’s money’. ASIC will ensure those who fail to meet these responsibilities are held to account’.

The Committee’s Report and Reasons for decision, handed down on 22 February 2019, can be accessed here.

Background

The Committee was convened on 2 January 2019 after Mr Leigh, the former liquidator of Neolido Holdings Pty Ltd (in Liquidation) [Neolido], did not respond to the ‘show cause notice’ sent to him by ASIC on 13 November 2018 asking him to give a written explanation why his liquidator registration should continue.

Neolido was a property development company based in South Brisbane that was wound up on 25 November 2005 following an ASIC application to the Federal Court.. On 14 October 2010, Mr Leigh, who was then a partner of PPB Advisory, was appointed as a co-liquidator of the company. 

On 2 March 2018, ASIC suspended Mr Leigh’s registration as a company liquidator following receipt of an application by him which was formally lodged on 28 February 2018. Mr Leigh agreed to resign as external administrator of all his current appointments and ASIC exercised its powers to appoint replacement liquidators to 16 companies to which Mr Leigh had been appointed as sole liquidator. 

On 20 March 2018, Mr Andrew Fielding and Ms Helen Newman of BDO Business Restructuring were appointed as co-liquidators of Neolido. 

Mr Leigh’s registration as liquidator was suspended pending an ASIC investigation into allegations that, as the co-liquidator of Neolido, he dishonestly redirected $800,000 from the Neolido external administration account into a bank account that he controlled and used those funds for his own purpose.

Mr Leigh will appear before the Brisbane District Court on 3 May 2019 for a sentencing hearing in relation to three counts of fraud under section 408C(1)(D) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) following him entering a plea of guilty to those offences (18-339MR)

Last updated: 19/03/2019 09:51