The Brisbane District Court has sentenced David John Leigh to seven years’ imprisonment, after he earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud under the Queensland Criminal Code. He will be eligible for parole after serving 22 months in custody.
Between 25 July 2017 and 9 November 2017, Mr Leigh, a partner at PPB Advisory at the time of appointment as co-liquidator of Neolido Holdings Pty Ltd, dishonestly redirected $800,000 from the Neolido external administration bank account into a bank account that he controlled. He went on to use the funds for his own purposes.
A disciplinary committee had earlier cancelled Mr Leigh’s registration as a liquidator and barred him from carrying out any of the functions or duties, or exercise any of the powers, of a registered liquidator on behalf of any other registered liquidators for eight years commencing on 22 February 2019.
Upon sentencing, Judge Farr said that Mr Leigh “committed a significant breach of trust as a court-appointed liquidator”, and in referring to Mr Leigh’s financial situation that led him to the offending, he was “uniquely positioned to know what legitimate avenues were available in [his] circumstances but chose not to choose those options”.
“Liquidators must act honestly in the protection and administration of other people’s money. ASIC will continue to act against dishonest conduct and hold offenders to account,” ASIC commissioner John Price said.
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.