Lying to the corporate regulator doesn’t pay, as the former director of a tour company discovered when he was fined for misleading ASIC about outstanding debts.
In February 2016, Cairns resident Leigh Alan Jorgensen applied to have his company, Trek North Tours, deregistered.
However, as part of this application, Mr Jorgensen claimed the business had no outstanding debts, despite the fact it still owned money to the federal government.
Appearing in Cairns Magistrates Court earlier this month, Mr Jorgensen was found to have breached the Corporations Act by providing misleading statements to ASIC, and was fined $2,000.
The case arose after the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) launched a separate legal action against the company for unpaid staff wages.
In that instance, Trek North Tours was penalised $55,000, with the fine still outstanding.
As well as a mounting bill of financial penalties, Mr Jorgensen has also now been banned from running a company for five years.
The FWO has appealed for employers to double check they are paying correct wages and entitlements to staff, following a string of prosecutions for wage underpayment and poor record-keeping practices.
More information on modern awards and various employee entitlements can be found on the Fair Work website or by calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.