Removing property that belongs to a company in liquidation is against the law and attracts serious penalties, as the former director of a Queensland business has discovered the hard way.
Adam John Copping of the Brisbane suburb of Ascot was found guilty in court of fraudulently removing company property after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) launched action.
Mr Copping’s business, Trac Developments, was put into liquidation on 7 March 2016. Soon after, Mr Copping removed an Isuzu truck belonging to the company without notifying the liquidators.
It was suggested this was done for personal benefit and meant it could not be sold to pay off business debts. Such behaviour amounts to phoenix activity, which is currently the subject of a major crackdown by a multi-agency task force.
Liquidators reported the situation to ASIC, which investigated the matter before launching legal proceedings.
Brisbane Magistrates Court found Mr Copping guilty, handing him a formal conviction and a fine of $2,500.
The conviction automatically disqualifies Mr Copping from managing companies for a five-year period, meaning he cannot do so again until 5 July 2023.
Recently, a total of 11 tax agents had their offices raided over suspected phoenix activity.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.