Monday, 8 April 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Criminal charges "on the cards" for Sydney liquidator

A Sydney-based liquidator is in strife after being accused of pilfering $90,000 to pay his tax.

The official liquidator, whose identity is subject to a non-publication order, recently failed in his application to stay a hearing before the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB) that could see him stripped of his liquidators registration.

In a Supreme Court of NSW judgement published last week, Justice Stephen Rothman outlined how the accused, while working for Pitt Street insolvency firm Jamieson Louttit & Associates (JL&A), allegedly caused two payments from an account at JL&A to be made to himself to "discharge a tax liability".

The transactions allegedly occurred whilst the accused was working on Biseja Pty Ltd, a property developer to which Jamieson Louttit had been appointed receiver on September 4, 2008.

According to the judgement, the accused claims the payments were authorised by Louttit as part of an agreement the two had.

Louttit denies any agreement existed. Louttit told SiN he reported his concerns to ASIC on October 29, 2010 and provided specific details of the alleged misappropriation to the corporate regulator on December 14, 2010.

He said he also reported the suspect transactions to the fraud squad.

In January 2013 the accused applied to have the CALDB hearing stayed pending the determination of criminal proceedings. As there were no criminal proceedings afoot, CALDB refused.

The accused then applied to the Supreme Court for an order halting the CALDB hearing on the basis its outcome might be prejudicial to any future criminal proceedings. The court heard that application on January 30 and 31, 2013. Justice Rothman published his decision to dismiss and reasons on April 3, 2013.

The CALDB hearing is now scheduled to take place on May 6, 2013 but the possible cancellation of a liquidators registration could just be the beginning.

Justice Rothman indicated that criminal proceedings related to the alleged fraudulent payments are "on the cards" and it may be that ASIC is only waiting for the CALB hearing to be concluded before it delivers a brief of evidence to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Contact SiN

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