After being extradited to Australia from Thailand, John Falconer, the former director and chief financial officer of TZ Limited, has been charged with dishonest conduct and appeared before the Sydney Central Local Court.
The charges, which follow an ASIC investigation, include 16 counts of using his position as a director dishonestly with the intention of gaining an advantage for himself or others and 2 counts of giving false or misleading information to the ASX.
ASIC alleges that between 8 December 2006 and 24 September 2008, whilst a director of TZ Limited, Mr Falconer used his position dishonestly on 16 separate occasions to gain an advantage for himself or others, by causing approximately $6.25 million of TZ Limited’s funds to be transferred to entities associated with Mr Falconer, entities associated with Andrew Sigalla (another former director of TZ Limited) and other persons or entities associated with Messrs Falconer and Sigalla.
ASIC also alleges that on two occasions, 30 April 2008 and 28 February 2009, whilst a director of TZ Limited, Mr Falconer lodged financial reports with the ASX which failed to disclose the true nature of certain payments within the reports.
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
Mr Falconer departed Australia in March 2012 during ASIC’s investigation and did not return. Following a request from the Australian Government (on behalf of ASIC), the Thai Criminal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Falconer and on 2 June 2017, Mr Falconer consented to be extradited to Australia.
Mr Falconer arrived in Australia on 5 September 2017, escorted by officers of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Appearing before Sydney Central Local Court the same day, Mr Falconer requested an adjournment for one week in order to prepare a release application. The Court will hear the application on Friday, 15 September 2017 and Mr Falconer will remain in custody until the application is heard.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) is prosecuting the matter.
ASIC worked with the CDPP, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and the AFP in securing Mr Falconer’s extradition to Australia. ASIC would also like to thank the Thai authorities for their assistance in this matter.