Vito Peter Pennimpede of Balgownie, NSW, has been disqualified from managing corporations for four years after his involvement in four failed companies. Mr Pennimpede was a director of four companies between 2016 and 2019, namely:
- Fonz (Aust) Holdings Pty Ltd (ACN 151 846 669) (Fonz);
- Manbead Pty Ltd (ACN 068 376 590) (Manbead);
- Admark Property Group Pty Ltd (ACN 153 600 170) (Admark); and
- UBC Commercial Vehicles (Australia) Pty Ltd (ACN 604 149 680) (UBC).
The four companies were involved in land acquisitions, residential property development and wholesale construction trade.
In making its decision, ASIC found that Mr Pennimpede does not adequately understand his directors’ duties. ASIC also found in relation to Fonz and Manbead (the companies) that Mr Pennimpede breached his duties by failing to:
- keep adequate records;
- act with due care and diligence;
- actively participate in the management of the companies or take reasonable steps to monitor their affairs; and
- ensure the companies paid tax to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The total amount owed to unsecured creditors for all four companies is estimated at $10,953,719, of which $2,697,828 is owed to the ATO.
In making the decision to disqualify Mr Pennimpede, ASIC relied on supplementary reports lodged by Daniel O’Brien of DV Recovery Management as liquidator of Fonz, and Danny Vrkic of DV Recovery Management as liquidator of Manbead. ASIC assisted the liquidators of the companies to prepare supplementary reports by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.
Mr Pennimpede is disqualified from managing corporations until 30 June 2025.
Section 206F of the Corporations Act gives ASIC the power 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 alleging misconduct.
ASIC 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
- practising in the financial services or credit industry.