Thursday 3 May 2007 LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – South Australian property developer and racehorse breeder, Mr Malcolm Edwin Pettingill, has been sentenced to 320 hours of community service, after pleading guilty to charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Mr Pettingill, 61, of Wellington, South Australia, pleaded guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 16 March 2007 to 68 counts of failing to update ASIC registers with his residential address and the registered offices and principal places of business of his companies. The contraventions related to 28 companies of which Mr Pettingill was a director and concerned conduct dating as far back as 2002 in some instances.
A number of the relevant companies are now in external administration. Mr Pettingill’s sentence follows an ASIC investigation which revealed a significant number of creditors were seeking to recover a combined total of approximately $277,000 from Mr Pettingill or his companies. While the maximum penalty for each count was a $550 fine, (with a total maximum penalty of $37,400 for all 68 counts), the Court imposed a sentence of community service given Mr Pettingill was declared bankrupt in June 2006. The sentence of 320 hours community service is the maximum available under the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act. ‘Creditors face real difficulties in locating individuals who fail to update the ASIC register.
These creditors are often small businesses who have dealt with the companies or the director and are seeking to recover debts. This conduct also impacts significantly on people and businesses who are at the former addresses of the director and companies as they are faced with regular visits from debt collectors and process servers’, said ASIC’s Executive Director of Consumer Protection, Mr Greg Tanzer. ‘The number of companies and addresses involved in this instance is the most ever prosecuted by ASIC in a single matter. Where necessary, ASIC will take action to improve the quality of information available to the public, shareholders and members or officers of Australian companies’, Mr Tanzer said. For further information contact: Mr Greg Tanzer Executive Director Consumer Protection Telephone: 07 3867 4704 Mobile: 0411 549 144 Emma Forehan ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3354 Mobile: 0409 702 310