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17-384MR Former Managing Director and former Chief Operating Officer of Hastie Services charged with conspiracy to falsify accounts

Tuesday 14 November 2017
ASIC Media Release

The former director and the former chief operating officer of a subsidiary of the publicly listed company Hastie Group Pty Limited (in external administration) have both been charged with three counts of conspiracy to falsify accounts.

Mr Joseph Carmec Farrugia, the former Director of Hastie Services Pty Limited (in external administration) (Hastie Services) and Mr Ian Athol Thompson, the former Chief Operating Officer of Hastie Services appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday 7 November charged with two charges of conspiracy to falsify the books and records of Hastie Services and one charge of conspiracy to give false or misleading information to an auditor.

ASIC alleges that:
  • between 7 November 2008 and about 30 June 2011, Mr Farrugia and Mr Thompson conspired with two other senior staff members of Hastie Services to make false entries into the books of the company to reduce the "gap" between the forecast Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) and the actual EBIT; and
  • between 5 May 2010 and about 13 February 2011, Mr Farrugia and Mr Thompson conspired with two other senior staff members of Hastie Services to make false entries into the books of Hastie Services in order to conceal the true financial position of Hastie Services' Western Australia branch.

These offences both carry a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.

ASIC further alleges that between 17 June 2010 and about 9 April 2011, Mr Farrugia, Mr Thompson and two other senior officers of Hastie Services conspired to provide false information to the auditors of Hastie Group Limited to conceal the above offending.
This offence carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) is prosecuting this matter.

Background

Hastie Services was a subsidiary of Hastie Group Ltd (in external administration), a company formerly listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Hastie Group and a number of its subsidiaries including Hastie Services were placed in external administration on 28 May 2012.

On 24 August 2017 Ms Samantha Cousins, a former finance manager of Hastie Services, pleaded guilty to three conspiracy charges and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and released on immediate recognizance on condition of good behaviour.

Following Ms Cousins sentence, on 20 October 2017 Mr Glyn Raines, a former Chief Financial Officer of Hastie Services, pleaded guilty to three conspiracy charges and sentenced to two years imprisonment and ordered to serve his term by way of an intensive corrections order (refer:
 17-356MR).