Director sentenced to community correction order for breaching directors’ duties

Peter Ross Dunkley of Clovelly, NSW, has been convicted of three counts of breaching his directors’ duties and sentenced to a community correction order to be of good behaviour for a period of twelve months.

Mr Dunkley was the sole director of APD Building Pty Ltd [ACN 108 239 845 (In Liquidation)] (APD), which operated as a residential building contractor in NSW.

On 19 July 2017, voluntary administrators were appointed to APD Building as it was insolvent or likely to become insolvent.

ASIC found that between 19 July 2017 and 16 August 2017, Mr Dunkley issued three invoices totalling $55,517 to a debtor of APD for works the company performed. The invoices were issued with instructions that payments be made to a bank account held in Mr Dunkley’s personal name rather than to the company account where the funds could have been used for the benefit of creditors of the company. The debtor paid the invoices to Mr Dunkley’s personal account.

APD was wound up with liabilities of $1,558,139 owed to 32 unsecured creditors, including $409,534 to the ATO.

Mr Dunkley had previously appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court on 24 August 2021 and pleaded guilty to three counts of dishonestly using his position as a director with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for himself or someone else.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Background

On 19 July 2017, Riad Tayeh and Suelen McCallum were appointed as joint and several voluntary administrators of APD.

On 18 August 2017, Christopher Palmer of O’Brien Palmer was appointed the liquidator of APD. ASIC commenced its investigation after receiving a supplementary report from Mr Palmer which was funded from the Assetless Administration Fund.

At the time of the conduct, a contravention of s184(2)(a) of the Corporations Act 2001 carried a maximum penalty of 2000 penalty units or imprisonment for five years, or both.

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