ASIC has disqualified Tom Butler Vorster of Landsdale, Western Australia, from managing companies for four and a half years due to his involvement in the failure of three companies.
Between 2013 and 2019, Mr Vorster was an officer or director of three companies operating in the construction and trade industries:
- International Turnkey Projects Pty Ltd (ACN 602 124 854);
- UI Projects WA Pty Ltd (ACN 163 798 874); and
- 360 Turn Around Solutions Pty Ltd (ACN 624 477 372).
ITP operated in the construction industry providing labour hire services. UI Projects operated in the mining, maritime and building & construction industries.. 360 Turn Around provided electrical and data services to residential and commercial properties in WA.
ASIC found that Mr Vorster acted improperly and failed to meet his obligations as director when he:
- failed to pay outstanding state and federal taxes and lodge tax documents with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in relation to ITP and UI Projects;
- failed to pay outstanding tax liabilities to the ATO in relation to 360 Turn Around;
- made loans to related parties to the detriment of ITP and UI Projects;
- failed to prevent ITP and UI Projects from trading while insolvent; and
- failed to keep adequate books and records for ITP and UI Projects.
At the time of ASIC’s decision, the three companies owed a combined total of $10,113,880 to creditors, including $4,355,635 owing to the ATO.
In disqualifying Mr Vorster, ASIC relied on supplementary reports lodged by ITP’s liquidator, Anthony Warner of CRS Insolvency Services and UI Projects’ liquidators, Cameron Shaw and Blair Pleash of Hall Chadwick. ASIC assisted Mr Warner to prepare his report by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.
Mr Vorster is disqualified from managing corporations until 24 September 2026.
Mr Vorster has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Section 206F of the Corporations Act allows ASIC to disqualify a person from managing corporations for a maximum period of five years if, within a seven year period, the person was an officer of two or more companies, and those companies were wound up and a liquidator provides a report to ASIC about each of the company’s inability to pay its debts.
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
- practising in the financial services or credit industry.