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Friday 1 July 2022

22-171MR Disciplinary committee decision - Nicholas Crouch

On 24 June 2022, a committee convened to make a disciplinary decision about registered liquidator, Nicholas James David Crouch of Crouch Amirbeaggi, delivered its decision.  

The committee decided that:

  • Mr Crouch should continue to be registered as a liquidator,
  • Mr Crouch should be publicly reprimanded,
  • ASIC should direct Mr Crouch not to accept any further appointments as a liquidator during the period 29 June 2022 to 31 December 2022, and
  • ASIC should publish the notice of reprimand annexed to the committee’s decision on its website, www.asic.gov.au.

ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes said, ‘Mr Crouch’s conduct was serious and had the potential to undermine confidence in registered liquidators. The committee’s decision serves as an important reminder to all registered liquidators of their obligation to at all times adequately and properly perform the duties of a liquidator and comply with their obligations under the Corporations Act’.

The committee found Mr Crouch failed to carry out adequately and properly duties or functions that a registered liquidator is required to carry out under law, by accepting an appointment as a voluntary administrator when he was not seen to be independent due to his pre-appointment dealings. The committee found Mr Crouch failed to exercise care and diligence in co-operating and assisting the liquidator who replaced him.

The committee also found Mr Crouch contravened provisions of the Corporations Act 2001, by failing to lodge an end of administration return with ASIC, and by failing to transfer to the liquidator who replaced him, all books relating to the voluntary administration that were within his possession or control.

ASIC has published the committee’s notice of reprimand.

Background

On or around 24 March 2020, Mr Crouch commenced an engagement to prepare a solvency report for Australian Tailings Group Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) (ATG). On 6 April 2020, Mr Crouch was appointed as the voluntary administrator of ATG. On 9 April 2020, Mr Crouch was replaced as liquidator of ATG, following orders made by the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

On 19 January 2021, ASIC issued Mr Crouch a ‘show cause notice’ in relation to matters arising from his role as voluntary administrator of ATG asking him to give a written explanation why his liquidator registration should continue. 

ASIC considered Mr Crouch’s response, and was not satisfied with it, so referred the matter to a committee to make a decision.

Last updated: 01/07/2022 11:02