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20-260MR Company officers charged with breaching their duties
David Ross of Box Hill North Victoria and Wade Steel of Earlwood NSW have both been charged with three counts of breaching their director duties, following an ASIC investigation.
Mr Ross was a former company director of real estate photography and marketing business Image-Ination Pty Ltd ACN 111 647 128 (Image-Ination), while Mr Steel was the former general manager.
ASIC alleges that between 24 July 2012 and 31 October 2013, Messrs Ross and Steel used their respective positions at Image-Ination dishonestly with the intention of gaining an advantage for themselves or causing detriment to Image-Ination, by causing invoices owed to Image-Ination to be diverted to Daws & Co Pty Ltd ACN 164 473 769 (Daws & Co). It is alleged that Messrs Ross and Steel jointly authorised transfers of $120,000 and $65,000 from Image-Ination’s bank account to Daws & Co.
At the time, Mr Ross was also a director of Daws &Co. It is alleged this was part of a ‘phoenixing’ scheme to allow Image-Ination’s income and assets to be diverted before it was placed into liquidation. As a consequence, Messrs Ross and Steel intentionally worsened Image-Ination’s financial position and made it more likely to become insolvent.
Mr Adam Shepard of Farnsworth Shepard was appointed liquidator of the Company on 19 February 2016.
ASIC commenced its investigation after receiving a supplementary report from Mr Shepard. ASIC assisted Mr Shepard to conduct an investigation and report his findings by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
It is alleged the activities of Mr Ross and My Steele contravened s184(2) of the Corporations Act 2001. At the time of the alleged offending, s184(2) had a maximum period of imprisonment of 5 years.
The matter was heard on 20 October 2020 at the Downing Centre Local Court in NSW. The matter has been adjourned to 3 November 2020 for the Court to decide on bail.
Editor's note 1:
The matter has been adjourned to 15 December 2020 for further mention.
Editor's note 2:
On 15 December 2020, the matter was adjourned until 16 February 2021.
Editor's note 3:
On 16 February 2021, the matter was adjourned until 18 April 2021 for further mention.
Editor's note 4:
On 18 April 2021, the matter was adjourned until 11 May 2021 for further mention.
Editor's note 5:
On 11 May 2021, the matter was adjourned until 22 June 2021 for a committal hearing.
Editor's note 6:
On 22 June 2021, the matter was heard and Mr Steel’s plea hearing was set for 6 July 2021.
Editor's note 7:
Mr Steel’s matter was heard on 6 July 2021 and further adjourned to 21 July 2021.
Editor's note 8:
On 22 June 2021, Mr Ross pleaded guilty to one rolled up charge of s184 (1)(a). The matter was allocated for sentencing on 17 August 2021.
On 20 July 2021, Mr Steel pleaded guilty to one rolled up charge of s184 (1)(a). The matter was allocated for sentencing on 31 August 2021.
Editor's note 9:
Sentencing submissions were made for Mr Ross on 17 August 2021 at the Downing Centre Local Court. The Court provided the parties the opportunity to provide any further written submissions and adjourned sentencing to 7 September 2021.
Editor's note 10:
Sentencing submissions were made for Mr Steel on 31 August 2021 at the Downing Centre Local Court. The Court provided the parties the opportunity to provide any further written submissions and adjourned sentencing to 7 September 2021.