Former PPB Advisory Brisbane partner David John Leigh, 56 of Sherwood in Queensland has been sentenced to seven years gaol after pleading guilty late last year to stealing $800,000.
Leigh was sentenced last Friday in the Brisbane Magistrates Court and must serve a minimum 22 months before being eligible for parole.
The three charges relate to the theft of monies from the liquidation account of Neolido Holdings over the course of July, September and November 2017.
According to ASIC, the maximum custodial penalty where the value of the fraud is at least $100,000 is 20 years.
In November 2018 Leigh pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to three counts of dishonestly gaining a pecuniary benefit in excess of $100,000.
Whilst $100,000 of the total stolen were subsequently transferred to Neolido Holdings’ secured creditor Capital Access Australia, the PPB partnership had to make good the remainder, which Leigh told ASIC in a March 2017 interview were used to discharge his unspecified personal debts.
The theft first came to light in early 2018 when joint liquidator Grant Sparks was conducting bank reconciliations of the Neolido Holdings account.
It is understood Leigh created false instruments to effect the frauds, which involved transferring the funds from the company’s liquidation account with CBA to the Leighfam Trust Account with the Bank of Queensland.
ASIC is expected to release a statement once sentencing has been handed down.
In February 2019 Leigh’s registration as a liquidator was cancelled after a disciplinary committee found he was not a fit and proper person.
The committee also concluded that cancellation would not be a sufficient punishment if Leigh could still work in the insolvency industry under a registered liquidator.
Subsequently, a condition has been imposed on all other registered liquidators that they must not allow Leigh to carry out any of the functions or duties, or exercise any of the powers, of a registered liquidator on their behalf for eight years commencing on 22 February 2019.
In contract to Leigh’s crimes, former liquidator Stuart Karim Ariff was sentenced to six years gaol in December 2011 after a NSW District court jury found him guilty on 19 criminal charges relating to $1.18 million transferred from HR Cook Investments between 2006 and March 2009.
Ariff was released from custody on parole in 2015. Please take a moment to support INO’s continued chronicling of the insolvency profession.