A two-month suspended jail sentence has been given to the former franchisee of a number of fast food outlets, after she was found guilty of phoenix activity designed to swindle creditors.
Tasmanian woman Amy Timko was the sole director of A Twisted Little Company, which operated a number of Noodle Box franchises across the state’s north.
ASIC found that Ms Timko had tried to thwart creditors accessing plant and equipment by selling them to another company for $30,000, without actually receiving payment, and then placing her original business into liquidation soon after.
Ms Timko was also found guilty of re-assigning the leases used for the Noodle Box stores from the company that was to be liquidated into the other company, in breach of the franchise agreement with Noodle Box Franchising Australia.
The local court issued a two-month jail sentence, which was suspended on the condition that she not re-offend for 12 months.
However, having recorded a conviction, Ms Timko is automatically disqualified from managing a business for five years.
The investigation was assisted by the liquidator Andrew Fitzgerald, formerly of Grant Thornton Australia.
“Illegal phoenix activity has far reaching implications, impacting the business community, employees and contractors and the government,” ASIC said in a statement announcing the verdict.
“Where tax avoidance occurs and government revenue is lost, illegal phoenix activity impacts the entire community.”
Noodle Box did not respond directly to My Business' request for comment, but instead referred to comments the company made to Fairfax Media.
“We are particularly pleased ASIC has been able to use the information we provided to pursue the matter further in the courts,” Noodle Box was quoted as saying, adding that the restaurants are continuing to operate under new franchisees.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.