Peter Mavridis of Craigieburn was last week sentenced to four years and eight months' jail with a non-parole period of three years after being found guilty in relation to 33 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception and false accounting.
Between January and September 2009, Mr Mavridis directed the financial controller of the group to submit duplicated and/or falsely-inflated invoices to National Australia Bank under a debtor factoring agreement, which led to credit totalling approximately $4.8 million being advanced to companies within the S Central Group, of which Mr Mavridis was CEO.
In handing down his sentence, Judge Punshon of the County Court of Victoria said Mr Mavridis' conduct was "deliberate, repetitive and systemic" and that he had "used and exploited an employee" as part of the offending.
ASIC commissioner John Price said Mr Mavridis' sentence sends a strong message, particularly to heads of companies.
“ASIC will use all means necessary to take strong action against those considering fraud or encouraging employees to behave in this dishonest manner,” Mr Price said.
In order to retain access to bank credit, Mr Mavridis signed end-of-month reconciliations that disguised the falsifications and had them submitted to the bank.
The S Central Group – which comprised S Central Pty Ltd, S Central (NSW) Pty Ltd, S Central Products Pty Ltd, Expressapps Pty Ltd and Infotronics Software Pty Ltd – provided IT services to customers in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. The S Central Group companies entered into liquidation at various times between November 2009 and April 2010, leaving total deficiencies in excess of $10 million.
Mr Mavridis’ conviction automatically disqualifies him from managing corporations for a period of five years following his release from prison.