The Phoenix Taskforce (Taskforce) has provided its quarterly update to the Australian Government. The quarterly update highlights that:

  • the number of cross-agency disclosures jumped significantly compared to the previous quarter
  • the Taskforce is now working closely with Government in creating effective law reform measures to counter illegal phoenix activities
  • the Taskforce is actively referring matters to the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (which is headed by the Australian Federal Police) for criminal investigation and
  • the Taskforce raised $116.5 million in liabilities, collected over $36.8 million in cash, and completed 64 audits and reviews.

With regard to criminal prosecutions:

  • A director of a company pleaded guilty to dishonestly using her position as a director of a company by disposing of assets to a related company. She was discharged without conviction upon entering into a good behaviour bond of $2,000 for 2 years.
  • A director pleaded guilty to dishonestly using his position as a director by transferring company assets to a related company of which he was also a director. He was convicted and sentenced, and was automatically disqualified from managing corporations for 5 years.
  • A director was found guilty of acting dishonestly in failing to accurately report PAYG withholding tax and causing loss to the Commonwealth. He was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.
  • Another director was sentenced to Community Correction Order for 3 years for his role in stripping assets from a company after it was liquidated.