13-108MR Sydney businessman Andrew Sigalla charged with breaches of directors duties
Thursday 16 May 2013
Sydney businessman Andrew Sigalla faced Central Local Court today charged with dishonestly using his position as a director by making more than $6 million in payments to himself to pay off gambling debts and to make loan repayments on behalf of private companies he controlled.
The charges follow an ASIC investigation and the arrest of Mr Sigalla, the former chairman, director and chief executive of TZ Limited, early this morning at the Intercontinental Hotel.
ASIC alleges Mr Sigalla made 16 payments totalling $6,151,317 from bank accounts of TZ Limited between 3 March 2008 and 2 March 2009 for his own benefit and/or the benefit of private companies he controlled. Most of the money was used to pay off Mr Sigalla’s gambling debts to his bookmaker, Tom Waterhouse, and the remainder was used to meet mortgage payments on behalf of one of his personal companies.
Specifically, ASIC alleges that Mr Sigalla used his position as a director of TZ Limited dishonestly to cause the 16 payments to be made and also:
failed to ensure the payments were properly recorded in the accounting books and records of TZ Limited
failed to obtain shareholder approval for the payments, as required by section 208(1) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act), and
failed to ensure the payments were disclosed in the published accounts and annual reports of TZ Limited as related party benefits that he and/or his private companies received.
Mr Sigalla was not required to enter a plea and was released on conditional bail. The matter will return to court on 16 July 2013.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
Mr Sigalla has been charged with 16 offences against section 184(2)(a) of the Corporations Act. The maximum penalty for each offence is five years imprisonment and/or a $220,000 fine.
Mr Sigalla’s bail conditions include that Mr Sigalla surrender his passport to ASIC, not leave Australia and advise ASIC within 24 hours of any change to his current address.
Editor's note 1:
On 16 July 2013 at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney the matter was adjourned until 15 October 2013.
Editor's note 2:
On 15 October 2013 at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney the matter was adjourned until 26 November 2013.
Editor's note 3:
On 26 November 2013 the matter was heard at the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney where Mr Sigalla was charged with 8 additional offences of dishonestly using his position as a director. The matter was adjourned until 28 January 2014, at which time Mr Sigalla is expected to enter pleas of 'guilty' or 'not guilty' in respect of all 24 charges.
Editor's note 4:
On 28 January 2014 the matter was adjourned until 25 March 2014 at which time Mr Sigalla is expected to enter pleas of 'guilty' or 'not guilty' in respect of all 24 charges.
Editor's note 5:
On 25 March 2014 the matter was adjourned until 3 June 2014 for mention. An application made by Mr Sigalla for the return of his passport will be heard on 1 April 2014.
Editor's note 6:
The application foreshadowed by Mr Sigalla on 25 March 2014 for return of his passport on 1 April was not made. On 15 April Mr Sigalla made an application to the Downing Street Local Court to vary his bail conditions by permitting him to travel to Hong Kong and to New Zealand. The application was refused.
Editor's note 7:
On 3 June 2014 the matter was adjourned until 29 July 2014 for mention.