ASIC has disqualified Ms Elaine Ayoub, of Granville, New South Wales, from managing companies for a period of five years. Ms Ayoub was a director of seven companies that failed while owing the Australian Taxation Office at least $1.3 million. The Farm Wholefoods Potts Point Pty Ltd also failed owing employee entitlements. All seven companies failed within the last seven years.
The seven companies were:
- The Farm Wholefoods Potts Point Pty Ltd;
- Sumbar Pty Ltd;
- XXX Consulting Pty Ltd;
- TFW Enterprise Pty Ltd;
- ACN 609 906 158 Pty Ltd;
- ACN 127 109 326 Pty Ltd; and
- ACN 109 708 492 Pty Ltd.
In making its decision, ASIC found that Ms Ayoub:
- Failed to ensure that three of the companies complied with their obligation to lodge documents such as BAS and income tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office;
- Allowed two of the companies to trade whilst insolvent and incur debts totalling at least $150,000;
- Failed to ensure two of the companies maintained adequate financial records;
- Failed to assist Liquidators of three companies after their appointments by providing a Report on Company Activities and Property, formerly known as a Report as to Affairs, and company books and records; and
- Failed to understand and discharge her duties as a director.
ASIC considers her most serious failure to be that she failed to participate in the management of the companies at all.
In making its decision to disqualify Ms Ayoub, ASIC relied on supplementary reports lodged by the Liquidators of The Farm Wholefoods Potts Point Pty Ltd and Sumbar Pty Ltd, namely Andre Lakomy and Jason Tang of Cor Cordis and Steven Gladman of Hall Chadwick, respectively. ASIC assisted the Liquidators of The Farm Wholefoods Potts Point Pty Ltd in preparing their supplementary report by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.
The total amount of debts owed by the companies to creditors was in excess of $2 million.
Ms Ayoub’s disqualification extends until 24 August 2024.
Section 206F of the Corporations Act allows ASIC to disqualify a person from managing corporations for up to five years if, within a seven-year period, the person was an officer of two or more companies that were wound up and the liquidators lodge reports with ASIC about each company’s inability to pay its debts or allege misconduct.
ASIC also maintains a ‘Banned and Disqualified Persons’ register that provides information about people who have been disqualified from:
- involvement in the management of a corporation,
- auditing self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), or
- practicing in the financial services of credit industry.