“Corrupt activities” have seen a business stripped of its licence to operate for a three-year period, and its director fined, over conduct that allowed unroadworthy vehicles to remain on public roads.
Perth man Troy Pintabona, the director of vehicle examiner Mustang Holdings (WA), was deemed by the State Administrative Tribunal to have engaged in corrupt conduct by passing vehicles that had either not been examined or not had known defects rectified.
Mr Pintabona, while acting as a vehicle examiner for Western Australia’s Department of Transport in 2014 and 2015, was also found to have charged higher than prescribed fees and carried out vehicle inspections at other locations than the authorised business premises.
An investigation by the Corruption and Crime Commission, the findings of which were released in January 2017, found that Mr Pintabona had taken bribes for clearing vehicles that were unroadworthy under a separate business called Crypton Autos.
Additionally, information he had loaded into the government’s database was found to be “tainted or fraudulent”.
Such corruption, according to the commissioner for Consumer Protection, David Hillyard, warranted both Mr Pintabona as well as his company being banned from operations.
“The basis of the licensing system is to ensure that only fit and proper people hold licences and certificates to work in the industry and, in this case, Mr Pintabona has demonstrated that he is indeed not a fit and proper person,” Mr Hillyard said in a statement dated 21 December 2018.
“The actions of Mr Pintabona seriously undermined the system of vehicle checks that ensure they are roadworthy and he has put the safety of all road users at risk by allowing unroadworthy vehicles to be able to operate on public roads.”
Under the tribunal’s orders, Mustang Holdings will surrender its motor vehicle repairer’s business licence by the end of January 2019 or face a permanent ban. Mr Pintabona was handed a $1,500 fine.
Consumer Protection has been contacted to clarify whether any separate action has or will be taken against Crypton Autos. Calls to a number listed for Crypton Autos went unanswered, while its website had been suspended as of 27 December 2018. Contact details for Mustang Holdings (WA) were not immediately available.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.