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Wednesday 11 May 2022

22-107MR Tasmanian director disqualified from managing corporations for five years after engaging in illegal phoenix activity

ASIC has disqualified Robert John Walker of Rosetta, Tasmania, from managing companies for five years for his involvement in four failed companies.

Between 2014 and 2018, Mr Walker was a director of:

  • Tazzy Tyres Wholesale Pty Ltd (ACN 614 938 939)
  • Tazzy Tyres Accessories Pty Ltd (ACN 142 192 032)
  • Tazzy Tyres Retail Pty Ltd (ACN 614 939 614)
  • Tazzy Tyres Pty Ltd (ACN 157 851 833)

The companies provided retail sales of and services related to tyres.

ASIC found that Mr Walker:

  • breached his directors duties as a result of his involvement in phoenix activity over several years when he transferred the assets of indebted companies to other companies for no consideration, namely Tazzy Tyres Accessories and Tazzy Tyres; and
  • failed to maintain proper financial records for all four companies.

At the time of ASIC’s decision, the four companies owed unsecured creditors $1,944,418 including $855,121 owed to the Australian Taxation Office.

In disqualifying Mr Walker, ASIC relied on supplementary reports lodged by the liquidator of the four companies, Barry Hamilton of Barry Hamilton and Associates.

Mr Walker is disqualified from managing corporations until 2 May 2027.

Mr Walker has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Background

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 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 or credit industry.

More information about ASIC’s work in combatting illegal phoenix activity can be found 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: 11/05/2022 12:22