Mr Stuart Ariff – the former liquidator whose actions gave rise to the Inquiry into Liquidators and Administrators currently being conducted by the Australian Senate – was arrested on 23 August 2010 and is now facing 19 criminal charges. He has been released on bail.
In a media release the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said that the alleged offences relate to Mr Ariff’s conduct when liquidator of HR Cook Investments Pty Ltd.
Mr Ariff has been charged with 13 counts of intention to defraud. They relate to his alleged transfer of funds totalling $1.18 million. These charges are under section 176A of the NSW Crimes Act, and each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
In R v Giam (No 2) (1999) A Crim R 348 Dunford J said of an offence under section 176A : “Courts have drawn attention in the past to the seriousness of white collar crime, and offences under s 176A in particular, as it involves not only fraud but also breach of the trust involved in being a director of a company. Such offences call for significant sentences, particularly where the amount fraudulently obtained is large: R v Glenister  2 NSWLR 597, R v Pantano  49 A Crim R 328.”
Mr Ariff has also been charged with six counts under section 1308(2) of the Corporations Act 2001 alleging he made false statements in accounts of receipts and payments lodged with ASIC relating to this particular liquidation. Each count carries a maximum fine of $22,000 or imprisonment for five years or both.
The case against Mr Ariff is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
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