The former CEO of Healthzone Limited will remain behind bars, after a court dismissed an appeal against his sentence for dishonestly obtaining a $1 million director’s loan from CBA and falsifying company documents.
ASIC said in a public statement that Peter Roach’s appeal was dismissed on 19 July 2019 by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.
According to the companies regulator, Mr Roach had been convicted in October 2017 and sentenced to four years, three months’ jail, with a minimum prison sentence of two years, three months. Those convictions were for charges of:
- conspiring to dishonestly obtain a director’s loan of $1 million
- six counts of falsifying company documents
- two counts of providing false and misleading information to the ASX
ASIC said the court had deemed the sentence was not excessive, and so dismissed Mr Roach’s appeal.
Speaking on the appeal’s rejection, ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said “the court’s decision and affirmation of the sentence sends a clear message that the consequences of this type of misconduct are serious”.
“Mr Roach’s conduct was particularly egregious, given his significant position as the executive chairman and chief executive officer of a publicly listed company,” Ms Armour said.
At the time, Healthzone was listed on the ASX, but was delisted and went into administration and receivership in November 2011, before going into liquidation in March 2012.
Background notes provided by ASIC state that Mr Roach and fellow Healthzone director Ge Wu were convicted in 2017 of attempting to defraud the Commonwealth Bank through the loan.
It said that the $1 million loan to Healthzone had been obtained for the purpose of on-lending to Mr Roach to buy shares in the business. However, it said that a little of $900,000 of the funds was used to settle a personal property matter, with the rest used to pay other personal and business expenses.
According to ASIC, the ASX was subsequently provided with false declarations that he had purchased the shares in Healthzone.
The regulator said that Mr Wu pleaded guilty in May 2015 to his role in the conspiracy, and was sentenced to two years, nine months in prison.
In December of that year, a third former director of Healthzone — Robert Dulhunty — was given an 18-month jail sentence for conspiring with the other two directors to commit market manipulation. He served six months in jail.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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