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21-216MR ASIC prosecutes 124 people for failing to assist registered liquidators
In the period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, ASIC prosecuted 124 people in relation to 224 contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001. Those prosecuted were involved in companies that went into liquidation and had registered liquidators appointed.
ASIC took action following reports of misconduct being lodged by registered liquidators of the companies. The prosecutions resulted in fines and costs totalling $341,407.
To enable registered liquidators to properly investigate the affairs of the company, company officers and other persons involved in the company are required to comply with a number of obligations. This includes providing access to the company books and submitting a report on company activities and property (ROCAP).
A company’s books and ROCAP are required by registered liquidators to enable them to investigate the cause of a company’s failure and realise assets that may result in returns to a company’s creditors. It also enables registered liquidators to report findings to ASIC which can be used to commence investigations and take enforcement action.
If people fail to comply, registered liquidators can seek assistance from ASIC under the liquidators assistance program (LAP). If people fail to comply following intervention by ASIC, we have the power to initiate prosecution proceedings against them.
The 124 people were prosecuted summarily in local and magistrates’ courts by ASIC and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
The LAP provides support to registered liquidators appointed across a range of administration types. Company officers are strongly encouraged to comply with their obligations.