By James Wells
ADELAIDE: The owner of a South Australian Retravision store which went into receivership in 2004 has been sentenced to 15 months jail, fully suspended, after pleading guilty to dishonestly using his position to gain a financial advantage.
Duane Wayne Drake, 34, of Mandurang in Victoria, was a co-director of C.T.O.H. Pty Ltd (CTOH), which operated the PZ Electrical Retravision store at Waikerie in South Australia, until June 2004. CTOH was placed into liquidation on 15 June 2004 owing creditors $951,738.
An investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) found that Drake had used CTOH’s American Express credit card five times between 15 and 21 October to repay a $50,000 personal debt to a former employer.
His 15-month jail sentence was suspended upon him entering into a good behaviour bond of four years with conditions including that he repay $40,000 in monthly installments of $1,000. He has already repaid $10,000.
Drake was sentenced in the Adelaide District Court on Friday and as a result of his conviction, he is disqualified from managing corporations until 25 October 2011.
ASIC executive director of consumer protection, Greg Tanzer, said Drake’s sentence sends a clear message that company directors who misuse their position for personal advantage will be brought before the courts.
“ASIC will not tolerate company officers who use company bank accounts for personal use and to the detriment of the company or creditors,” Tanzer said.
ASIC acknowledged the assistance provided by Victoria Police and South Australia Police when Drake failed to attend court for sentencing in September.
After Drake failed to appear in court, Victorian and South Australian Police then executed a subsequent warrant for his arrest and extradited him to South Australia for sentencing.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.