Mr Stephen O’Neill of Port Melbourne, Victoria and Mr John Narramore, of Main Beach Queensland have both pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to one charge for dealing in the proceeds of crime.
An Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation found that in October 2014 Mr Richard Ludwig, a former director of Cap Coast Telecoms Pty Ltd (Cap Coast Telecoms) sought pre-insolvency advice from O’Neill and Narramore of SME’s R Us following a dispute his company was having with a creditor. They advised Ludwig about an asset protection strategy that would involve the illegal removal of company assets so as to prevent creditors having access to those assets.
Between October 2014 and January 2015, O’Neill and Narramore issued fictitious invoices from companies under their control to Cap Coast Telecoms for purported services that were never provided. Ludwig dishonestly transferred a total of $743,050 from the bank account of Cap Coast Telecoms Pty Ltd to the bank accounts of the companies under O’Neill and Narramore control. O’Neill and Narramore subsequently transferred the funds to Ludwig or his associates. Once the funds were transferred, Cap Coast Telecoms was wound up in liquidation on 19 January 2015.
At the time of when Cap Coast Telecoms was wound up, it owed creditors a total of $2,955,138.
The matter was referred to ASIC through an unfunded supplementary report by the liquidator of Cap Coast Telecoms, Mr Mark Hutchins of Cor Cordis.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Source: © Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission
On 5 September 2019, Mr Narramore pleaded guilty to one breach of s400.4(2) of the Criminal Code Act (Cth) 1995 for intentionally dealing in proceeds of crime worth $100,000 or more. This matter has been listed for sentence for 12 November 2019.
On 3 October 2019 Mr O’Neill pleaded guilty to one breach of s400.4(2) of the Criminal Code Act (Cth) 1995 for intentionally dealing in proceeds of crime worth $100,000 or more. This matter has been listed for sentence on 27 February 2020.
Mr Richard Ludwig of Broadbeach Waters has been charged with one count of intentionally dealing in proceeds of crime and 10 counts of breaching his directors’ duties. He is yet to enter a plea and is due to appear in the Brisbane District Court on 31 October 2019.
Intentionally dealing with the proceeds of crime is an offence under the Criminal Code Act (Cth) 1995 and carries a maximum penalty of 1200 penalty units or imprisonment for 20 years, or both.
Breaching director duties can be an offence under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and, at the time of the alleged offending, carried a maximum penalty of 200 penalty units or imprisonment for five years, or both.