Adelaide company director convicted after engaging in illegal phoenix activity

Mr Stanley Zbigniew Maka of North Adelaide, SA has been convicted of breaching his director duties after engaging in illegal phoenix activity.

Mr Maka appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 27 November 2019 and pleaded guilty to one count of breaching his director duties and one count of concealing company records. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment and released on a $500 12-month good behaviour bond.

As a consequence of his conviction, Mr Maka is disqualified from managing corporations for five years from 27 November 2019.

Mr Maka was a director of Eastwood Insulation Pty Ltd ACN 105 311 920 (Eastwood Insulation), a soundproofing and acoustic insulation services business in South Australia.

An ASIC investigation found that between about 4 July 2013 and 12 December 2016, Mr Maka unlawfully transfered assets and $200,000 from Eastwood Insulation to Thermal Clad Pty Ltd ACN 083 212 343 (Thermal Clad), of which he was also a director. In doing so, Mr Maka used his position dishonestly to avoid paying Eastwood Insulation’s creditors, instead allowing Thermal Clad the benefit of the cash and assets. Mr Maka’s conduct is commonly known as illegal phoenix activity.

The investigation also found that between about 1 June 2010 and 16 April 2014, Mr Maka engaged in conduct that resulted in the concealment of Eastwood Insulation’s books by producing inaccurate records and failing to produce all books.

Eastwood Insulation was subsequently placed into liquidation on 6 March 2014 and had $1,254,052.67 owing to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.

Background

ASIC commenced an investigation after receiving a funded report from the joint liquidators of Eastwood Insulation, Ian Burford and Peter Macks from Macks Advisory. ASIC provided funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

ASIC is a member of the Phoenix Taskforce, which comprises federal, state and territory government agencies who work collectively to combat illegal phoenix activity. The Phoenix Taskforce is a whole-of-government approach to identify, disrupt and prosecute illegal phoenix activity.

Suspected phoenix activity can be reported to the Phoenix Hotline on 1800 807 875 or online at the ATO website.

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