Australia regulator ASIC announced that the Supreme Court of Victoria has ordered that Trevor Flugge, the former chairman of AWB Limited, pay a pecuniary penalty of $50,000 and be disqualified from managing corporations for a period of five years following the Court’s finding that he contravened s180(1) of the Corporations Act.
The orders follow the Court’s judgment delivered in December 2016 which found that Mr Flugge had breached his duties as a director of AWB in connection with payments made to the Government of Iraq while that country was subject to United Nations (UN) sanctions. As part of that judgment, the Court found that Mr Flugge failed to make adequate enquiries about the propriety of the payment of inland transportation fees and, as a consequence, failed to stop AWB engaging in improper conduct in paying the inland transportation fees to the Government of Iraq.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said:
The case highlights that company directors and senior management have a positive duty to chase down allegations of misconduct by their company. It also demonstrates that if necessary ASIC will pursue difficult, complex cases over a lengthy period of time to bring poor corporate conduct to account.