By Matthew Henry

MELBOURNE: Former Teac Australia chief financial officer and director, Ken Evans, faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to five charges relating to illegal business dealings in the now defunct Teac Australia business.

Evans’ prosecution arose from an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation following a $6 million shortfall at settlement from the sale in May 2002 of the Teac Australia Port Melbourne premises to Bay St Corporation, of which the late Gavin Muir, former managing director of Teac Australia, was sole director.

Evans was charged Wednesday with two counts of failing to act in good faith in the best interests of  Teac Australia, one count of dishonestly using his position as a director of Teac Australia, one count of falsifying company books and one count of providing false or misleading information to the company’s auditor.

According to ASIC, four of the charges relate to the sale of the Port Melbourne premises, while the fifth charge of providing false or misleading information to the auditor arose from Evans’ failure to disclose to the auditor of Teac that he was aware, from at least early February 2005, that Teac’s debtors as at 31 December 2004 were materially overstated.

Muir, who was a 50 per cent owner in the Teac Australia business before it collapsed in 2005, was facing 11 similar charges relating to the failed business dealings but died suddenly of a stroke a week before facing court earlier this year. 

Evans has been granted conditional bail and will appear in the Victorian County Court on 18 December 2007.

Earlier this year, ASIC said it would charge Evans with eight violations of the Corporations Act including six charges of failing to act in good faith in the best interests of Teac Australia.

The Teac brand is now owned and operated in Australia by Singapore-based company TT International, which bought the business from Teac Japan in September 2006.