Former employment agency director pleads guilty to directors’ duties charge

Former employment agency director Raita Konita Pakoti, also known as Rachel Edwards, of Werribee, Victoria, has pleaded guilty to one count of breaching her directors’ duties.

From 9 February 2009 to 26 January 2016, Ms Edwards was the sole director of employment agency Westpower Victoria Pty Ltd (In Liquidation) (ACN 135 293 873).

ASIC alleged that between 15 January 2010 and 23 September 2011, Ms Edwards made 175 withdrawals totalling $619,897.71 from a Westpower bank account and deposited the funds into a personal account.

Westpower went into liquidation on 5 January 2012 with debts totalling more than $930,000, including $735,680.36 owed to the ATO.

Ms Edwards pleaded guilty before the County Court of Victoria at Melbourne on 24 January 2022. She first appeared on this charge before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 17 November 2020 and was committed on 11 June 2021 to the County Court for plea hearing.

ASIC assisted Westpower’s liquidator, Paul Vartelas of B.K. Taylor & Co., to prepare a supplementary report with funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter following a referral from ASIC.

The matter has been adjourned for sentencing on a date yet to be set.

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