Friday 8 September 2006 – LAWFUEL – Australia Law News – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has disqualified four company directors in New South Wales from managing corporations following their involvement in failed companies. ASIC has banned husband and wife IT service providers, Geoffrey Francis MacPherson and Joanne Kay MacPherson, for the maximum period of five years each. ASIC has also banned father and son scaffolding suppliers, Brian John Baker and Gregory Paul Baker, for four and a half and three years respectively. Geoffrey Francis MacPherson ASIC banned Mr Geoffrey MacPherson following an investigation into his involvement in the failure of ACN 050 159 012 Pty Ltd (formerly known as Copyfax Pty Ltd) and Rollac Pty Ltd. ACN 050 159 012 Pty Ltd operated in the IT industry.
Rollac Pty Ltd was a trust company. Both companies failed owing unsecured creditors in excess of $900,000, with ACN 050 159 012 Pty Ltd paying unsecured creditors between 0 and 10 cents in the dollar. ASIC found that Mr MacPherson abused his position as a director by dishonestly diverting company funds to himself to the detriment of creditors. Joanne Kay MacPherson Joanne MacPherson’s banning was also a result of her involvement in the failed companies ACN 050 159 012 Pty Ltd (formerly known as Copyfax Pty Ltd) and Rollac Pty Ltd. ASIC found similarly against Joanne MacPherson as Geoffrey MacPherson.
Brian John Baker ASIC banned Mr Brian Baker following an investigation into his involvement in the management of eight failed companies, Rildean Pty Ltd, Liquid Gas Installations Pty Ltd, Bong Bong Investments Pty Ltd, Beckhold Pty Ltd, Snowy Mountains Tourist & Travel Centre Pty Ltd, Action Skyline (QLD) Pty Ltd, A.C.N. 068 947 802 Pty Ltd, and Richdish Pty Ltd. The companies were predominantly in the business of supplying, erecting and dismantling scaffolding to the building and construction industry. All eight companies were wound up owing in excess of $10 million and were unable to pay their creditors more than 50 cents in the dollar. Page 1 of 2
ASIC found that Mr Baker’s failure to ensure that the companies had sufficient funds to meet payment of their debts and his management of corporations while a bankrupt, demonstrated a reckless disregard for his duties as a director. Mr Baker also failed to assist the liquidator of Rildean Pty Ltd as required by law. Gregory Paul Baker ASIC’s banning of Mr Gregory Baker follows his involvement in four failed companies, Bong Bong Investments Pty Ltd, Snowy Mountains Tourist & Travel Centre Pty Ltd, R.O.S. Enterprises Pty Ltd and Dimi’s Enterprises Pty Ltd. These companies were labour hire companies or other service providers to a scaffolding company, Rildean Pty Ltd, operated by Gregory Baker’s father, Mr Brian Baker. All four companies were wound up with liquidators reporting they may be unable to pay unsecured creditors more than 50 cents in the dollar.
ASIC found Mr Baker failed to prevent the companies from incurring debts while insolvent and failed to keep proper books and records which thwarted scrutiny of the companies’ activities. ‘Company officers have important responsibilities to uphold and ASIC will not hesitate to disqualify company officers who disregard their obligations’, said ASIC’s Deputy Executive Director of Consumer Protection, Ms Delia Rickard.
The McPhersons and the Bakers have the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision. For further information contact: Delia Rickard Deputy Executive Director, Consumer Protection Telephone: 02 6250 3801 Mobile: 0412 673 026 Emma Forehan ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3354 Mobile: 0409 702 310