Liquidator pleads guilty to fraud charges

David Leigh pleads guilty to fraud

David Leigh, former liquidator of Neolido Holdings

David John Leigh, former partner of PPB Advisory Queensland has, as foreshadowed by INO last month, pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud in the Brisbane Magistrate’s Court.

In a statement yesterday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) confirmed that Leigh, 56 of Sherwood in Queensland, had entered a plea of guilty and would be committed for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

The guilty plea follows an investigation by ASIC and Queensland police that commenced in February 2018 after Leigh’s former colleague, Grant Sparks, uncovered irregularities in payments to the secured creditor of Neolido Holdings, a company to which Sparks and Leigh had been acting as joint liquidators until Leigh’s departure from PPB in December 2017.

Leigh took a total of $800,000 from the Neolido liquidation accounts between July and November 2017. However he paid $100,000 of that to Neolido’s secured creditor, Capital Access Australia (CAA).

ASIC said that under section 408C(2A) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld), the maximum penalty for an offence of fraud is 20 years’ imprisonment where the property value is at least $100,000.

In Leigh To Defend PPBA/Neolido Fraud Claim INO reported that Leigh was being assessed in respect of the state of his mental health during the period when the offences were committed.

The discovery of the fraud by Sparks – who had remained sole liquidator of Neolido Holdings after Leigh left PPBA bound for HLB Mann Judd – ultimately saw PPBA voluntarily relinquish the appointment.

Questions as to why Leigh took the money, what it was spent on and why he paid $100,000 to CAA remain unanswered. See the charges below.

Further reading:

Neolido Liqs Not Relying On Predecessor’s Legal Advice

PPB’s Preferred Picks Ousted By BDO Duo

Collateral Damage: Sparks To Resign From Neolido

Leigh To Defend PPBA/Neolido Fraud Claim

About the Author

Peter Gosnell
Insolvency News Online illuminates the practice of insolvency Australia-wide, highlighting the triumphs and travails of the nation’s registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. INO is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation's highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia's most notorious instances of white-collar crime.

4 Comments on "Liquidator pleads guilty to fraud charges"

  1. 20 years? more like a ban and a fine.I think there needs to be a strong message sent.Can you do a follow up with the sentence.

  2. Well, ARITA has done a fine job of self-regulation…

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