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Friday 15 November 2019

19-311MR ASIC disqualifies WA director from managing companies for five years

ASIC has disqualified Ms Joanne Jennifer Pellew (also known as Pellew-Hajinoor), of Ascot, WA, from managing companies for five years.

Ms Pellew was disqualified after liquidators were appointed to various training and labour hire companies operated by Ms Pellew, namely Ochre Training (WA) Pty Ltd ACN 159 577 509 (OTWA), Ochre Training Pty Ltd ACN 154 675 242 (OT) and Ochre Workforce Solutions Pty Ltd ACN 625 510 161, and Ms Pellew’s management of the companies was found to be a contributing factor in the companies’ collapse.

ASIC found that Ms Pellew had:

  • failed to exercise her duties as a director with due care and diligence;
  • improperly used her corporate position to gain an advantage for herself;
  • failed to prevent the companies from trading whilst potentially insolvent;
  • failed to ensure that proper financial records were kept;
  • failed to ensure that the companies paid all relevant taxes; and
  • enabled conduct that showed evidence of illegal phoenix activity.

The total amount of debts owed by the companies to creditors exceeded $4.5 million.

In making its decision to disqualify Ms Pellew, ASIC relied on supplementary reports lodged by the liquidators of OT and OTWA, outlining possible offences. Funding from the Assetless Administration Fund was provided to the liquidator of OTWA to assist in preparing a supplementary report.

Ms Pellew is disqualified from managing companies until 27 October 2024.

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 that were wound up and the liquidators lodge reports with ASIC about each company’s inability to pay its debts or alleges misconduct.

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
  • practicing in the financial services of credit industry.

More information about the Assetless Administration Fund is here.

More information about ASIC’s work in combatting illegal phoenix activity is here.

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 ASIC or the ATO by calling 1800 060 062, online at the ATO website or by emailing PhoenixReferrals@ATO.gov.au.

Last updated: 15/11/2019 12:00