A disciplinary committee has cancelled David John Leigh’s registration as a liquidator following charges against him for allegedly misappropriating $800,000 from a liquidation bank account.
The committee, consisting of an ASIC representative, an Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA) representative, and an appointee of the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, also decided that a condition should be imposed on all other registered liquidators that they must not allow Mr Leigh to carry out any of the functions or duties, or exercise any of the powers, of a registered liquidator on their behalf for eight years commencing on 22 February 2019.
The committee refrained from issuing the maximum 10 year period of exclusion given that Mr Leigh’s misconduct concerned only one company and was “driven by Mr Leigh’s personal financial problems which do not appear connected to improper activity”.
Mr Leigh, a partner at PPB Advisory at the time he was appointed co-liquidator of property development company Neolido, was alleged to have dishonestly redirected $800,000 from the Neolido external administration account into a bank account that he controlled and used those funds for his own purpose.
Mr Leigh has since entered a plea of guilty and will appear before the Brisbane District Court on 3 May 2019 for a sentencing hearing in relation to three counts of fraud under section 408C(1)(D) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).
Under section 408C(2A) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld), the maximum penalty for an offence of fraud is 20 years’ imprisonment where the property value is at least $100,000.
ASIC has appointed replacement liquidators to 16 companies to which Mr Leigh had been appointed as sole liquidator, and BDO Business Restructuring has picked up the Neolido appointment.