A disciplinary committee convened by ASIC has now moved to cancel the registration of Amanda Young as a liquidator.
Ms Young, a former partner at Jirsch Sutherland, had been alleged to have misappropriated funds totalling $238,502.23 from four liquidations over approximately one year.
Between December 2017 and December 2018, Ms Young was the sole liquidator to three of the companies — Admark Property Group Pty Ltd, Mamak Pty Ltd and The Roller Poster Company Pty Ltd — and the former manager assisting the liquidator of St Gregory’s Armenian School Incorporated.
An investigation by Jirsch Sutherland alleged that Ms Young had made or arranged payments from the accounts of four liquidations to her own bank and credit card accounts.
These payments included three payments totalling $165,362.23 from the liquidation of St Gregory’s into separate credit card accounts operated by Ms Young by deceiving fellow Jirsch Sutherland partner Sule Arnautovic into believing they were dividend payments to creditors.
A total of $28,140 connected with the Admark liquidation was also obtained by Ms Young by falsifying an expense claim form.
Ms Young was also found to have improperly obtained $28,500 from Mamak by instructing staff to reconcile it as payment to a law firm for legal fees.
She was also found to have obtained $16,500 from Roller Poster’s liquidation bank account and paid this amount into her personal bank account by attempting to conceal it as payments to a law firm.
The disciplinary committee comprising of an ASIC delegate, a registered liquidator chosen by the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association, and an appointee of the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services found that Ms Young “took deliberate steps to conceal her actions, including falsifying official documents and misleading and deceiving her colleagues”.
Ms Young was provided opportunities to front the committee to provide further information or submissions but ultimately did not appear before the committee.
“The committee reiterates that Ms Young has had the time and the opportunity to give the committee new information and has not done so,” the committee said.
“The committee is also satisfied that a suspension would be inappropriate and contrary to the public interest, due to the gravity of Ms Young’s repeated misconduct, her failure to express contrition or remorse, and because of the importance of protecting the public, and specifically and generally deterring others, from similar conduct.”
ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said the disqualification would serve as a timely reminder to all registered liquidator practices to regularly review their systems and processes, particularly fraud prevention and detection measures.
“Registered liquidators are in a position of trust and must act honestly in the protection and administration of creditors’ money,” Ms Armour said.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.