Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Andrew SIGALLA

Year: 
2016-2017
Category: 
Commercial
Location: 
New South Wales

Former director of Sydney company ASX-listed company TZ Limited was charged with 24 counts of dishonestly using his position as director to gain a benefit for himself and a third party and was sentenced on 10 February 2017 in the Supreme Court of New South Wales to 10 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 6 years.

During ASIC’s investigation into the offender’s conduct and the conduct of others associated with TZ Ltd,  ASIC issued over 200 notices to produce documents and about 29 notices to attend for examination.  ASIC liaised with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and the International Criminal Police Organisation, obtained statements from 52 different witnesses and undertook detailed forensic accounting analysis of the flow of funds.

Between 8 December 2006 and 2 March 2009 the offender made 24 payments totalling $8,619,318 from bank accounts of TZ Limited for his own benefit and/or the benefit of private companies he controlled.  It was also found that a significant portion of the funds was used to pay off the offender’s gambling debts to his bookmaker, Tom Waterhouse, and to meet mortgage payments on behalf of one of his personal companies.

Charges/sentence

On 22 November 2016 a jury verdict found the offender guilty on all counts.  On 10 February 2017 the offender was sentenced by her Honour Justice Christine Adamson to 10 years imprisonment commencing 22 November 2016 with a non-parole period of 6 years – expiring on 21 November 2022.  Upon his release, the offender will be automatically prohibited from acting as a director for 5 years.

  • Twenty-four counts of dishonest use of position by a director between 8 December 2006 and 2 March 2009 – s184(2)(a) Corporations Act 2001

Sentencing remarks / her Honour Justice Christine Adamson

“General deterrence is an important consideration. Offences such as these are notoriously difficult to detect and prosecute. The offender went to extraordinary lengths, both at the time and subsequently, to conceal his wrongdoing from the shareholders, the new board and ASIC, by disguising the true nature of the transactions and relying on the fake mandate agreement to justify the payments. One of the purposes of incorporating an element of general deterrence in a sentence is to deter others from similar wrongdoing. Another purpose is to ensure that public confidence in the administration of justice is maintained: Markarian v The Queen (2005) 228 CLR 357; [2005] HCA 25 at [82] per McHugh J.”