David John Leigh pleaded guilty to the fraud charges after he was found to have transferred $800,000 from the account of a defunct property development company, Neolido Holdings Pty Ltd, into an account he directly controlled. The money was then used for his own personal purposes, according to ASIC.
The regulator laid charges against Mr Leigh in September 2018, with the matter heard in the Brisbane Magistrates Court in November.
In a statement, ASIC said that Mr Leigh had pleaded guilty to three charges, and will return to the court on 3 May 2019 for sentencing.
Further to the court action, ASIC has now cancelled Mr Leigh’s registration as a liquidator, with the Disciplinary Committee finding him to be “not a fit and proper person to be registered as a liquidator”.
Additionally, it ruled that Mr Leigh could not be employed to work under other registered liquidators, in any capacity that would emulate the function and powers of a liquidator, for a period of eight years, beginning on 22 February 2019.
“It is important that the community has confidence in the professionalism and conduct of the corporate insolvency system,” ASIC commissioner John Price said.
“Registered liquidators are in a position of trust and must act honestly in the protection and administration of ‘other people’s money’. ASIC will ensure those who fail to meet these responsibilities are held to account.”
According to the regulator, Neolido had been based in South Brisbane before it was wound up on 25 November 2010.
Mr Leigh was subsequently appointed as co-liquidator of the company on 14 October 2010.
In March 2018, Mr Leigh’s registration was suspended pending investigation into claims that he had dishonestly transferred $800,000 in funds from Neolido’s administration account into a separate account that he controlled.