WA director disqualified for maximum period

David Michael Scofield, of Applecross WA, has been disqualified from managing corporations for the maximum period of five years for his involvement in four failed companies.

Mr Scofield was the director of four companies that were placed into liquidation in 2020:

  • Rhino (WA) Pty Ltd (ACN 105 829 516)
  • ACN 143 444 535 Pty Ltd (formerly Action Demolition (WA) Pty Ltd);
  • Rhino Machinery Pty Ltd (ACN 168 215 156); and
  • Scofield Investments Pty Ltd (ACN 168 219 501)

Rhino (WA) and Action Demolition (WA) were involved in the asbestos removal and demolition industries, whilst Rhino Machinery held plant & equipment and Scofield Investments provided rental, hiring and real estate services.

ASIC found that Mr Scofield:

  • failed to lodge various tax documents for all four companies;
  • failed to maintain adequate books and records for all four companies;
  • failed to submit a Report on Company Activities and Property to the liquidators of Action Demolition (WA), Rhino Machinery and Scofield Investments;
  • redirected debtors of Rhino (WA) to pay a total of $41,729.60 to related parties; and
  • engaged in conduct commonly referred to as illegal phoenix activity by seeking to continue to operate the business of Rhino (WA) and Action Demolition (WA) through a new entity.

The companies failed owing creditors over $5.5 million, with $1.8 million owing to unsecured creditors. The Australian Taxation Office was owed $242,825.74.

In making its decision to disqualify Mr Scofield, ASIC relied on supplementary reports lodged by the liquidators of all four companies. ASIC assisted the liquidators of Rhino (WA), Alexander Hugh Milne and Richard Rohrt of Hamilton Murphy, by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

Mr Scofield is disqualified from managing corporations until 16 November 2026.

Background

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 alleges 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.

More information about ASIC’s work in combatting illegal phoenix activity can be found here.

ASIC is a member of the Phoenix Taskforce, which comprises federal, state and territory government agencies who collaborate to combat illegal phoenix activity. The aim of the Phoenix Taskforce is to provide a whole-of-government approach to identify, disrupt and prosecute those who engage in or facilitate illegal phoenix activity.

Suspected phoenix activity can be reported to ASIC or the ATO by calling 1800 060 062, online

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