ASIC, together with the Queensland Police Service (QPS), conducted a surveillance sting on members of a criminal syndicate and outlawed motorcycle gang.
Six people were automatically disqualified from their roles as company directors or secretaries, and two were found to have registered business names, all of whom had previous criminal convictions which prevented them from doing so.
The office holders have been removed from ASIC’s corporate register and the registered business names will be cancelled. Names of the individuals involved and the related businesses were not disclosed.
“We are working closely with agencies like the QPS to identify those involved in organised criminal activities and prevent them from managing companies and operating businesses,” said ASIC commissioner John Price.
“ASIC is committed to protecting consumers, investors and the public from those who present the greatest risk.”
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), both the Corporation Act 2001 and the Business Names Registration Act expressly forbid people from managing a company or holding a business name if they have been convicted of an offence that involves dishonesty and is punishable by at least three months in jail.
The ban extends for five years from the individual’s release from prison, or from the date of conviction if no jail time is served.
Dishonesty offences in relation to running a business include instances of fraud on various aspects of company law, including insider trading and breach of director duties.
The ASIC website also says people who are bankrupt and children under the age of 18 years are also automatically disqualified from managing a business. The regulator also has the power to ban a person from managing a company for up to five years if they have been involved in two or more failed companies in the last seven years, or they are subject to a liquidator’s report.
Anyone found guilty of being a dishonest director under these conditions can be sentenced to jail time as well as receive fines, and may also be ordered to pay damages.