The former CFO of a healthcare not-for-profit has pleaded guilty to charges relating to false company records and providing false information during an audit that created a $10 million difference in its financial position.
In a hearing before the ACT Magistrates Court, Victorian man Wayne Allan Armistead pleaded guilty to charges laid by ASIC, the regulator said in a public statement.
The two charges were for causing false entries to be recorded in a company’s financial records or for providing false information to a company auditor.
They relate to Mr Armistead’s time as CFO of Calvary Health Care ACT Ltd, between 7 September 2012 and 9 July 2014.
According to ASIC, he “caused” a total of 28 false entries to be made in the company’s financial records in the 2013 and 2014 financial years.
Mr Armistead also stood accused of giving the company auditor information that he knew to be false between 30 July and 1 August in 2014.
ASIC said that “primarily as a result of the false entries”, Calvary Health Care had reported earnings of $1.925 million in the financial report dated 30 June 2014, when its actual financial position for the year had been a loss of $9.451 million.
For each of the charges, Mr Armistead was sentenced to a two-year, $1,000 good behaviour bond, and fined a collective $5,000.
His conviction also results in an automatic disqualification from managing companies for a five-year period.
ASIC had investigated the company and Mr Armistead following a report from the company auditor.
According to its website, Calvary Health Care is a not-for-profit Catholic healthcare company founded in 1885 which operates a number of public and private hospitals, aged-care facilities and community care centres nationwide.
Approached for comment in response to the verdict, Calvary issued a statement in which it said that it “appreciates the conclusion of ASIC’s investigation last week resulting in a conviction”.
“In FY 2013–14, Calvary Health Care ACT withdrew its annual accounts lodged with ASIC, having identified post year-end that amounts claimed to be revenue were not substantiated,” it said.
“Following Calvary’s withdrawal of accounts, ASIC initiated an investigation and charged our former chief financial officer with offences under the Corporations Act.”
The company added: “Calvary absorbed the loss suffered because of our former employee’s actions. Calvary’s focus remains providing high-quality health care to the people of the ACT.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.