Former CEO of S Central Group jailed

Tuesday 17 November 2015
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Mr Peter Mavridis, the former chief executive of the S Central Group of companies, has been jailed following an ASIC investigation.

Appearing before the County Court of Victoria on 12 November 2015, Mr Mavridis, 43, of Craigieburn, was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months jail with a non-parole period of 3 years.

The sentencing of Mr Mavridis follows a guilty verdict by a jury in relation to 33 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception and false accounting.

Between January and September 2009, Mr Mavridis directed the financial controller of the group to submit duplicated and/or falsely inflated invoices to National Australia Bank Ltd under a debtor factoring agreement, which led to credit totalling approximately $4.8 million being advanced to companies within the S Central Group.

In handing down his sentence, His Honour Judge Punshon said that Mr Mavridis conduct was 'deliberate, repetitive and systemic' and that he had 'used and exploited an employee' as part of the offending.

'Mr Mavridis' sentence sends a strong message, particularly to heads of companies,' ASIC Commissioner John Price said.

'ASIC will use all means necessary to take strong action against those considering fraud or encouraging employees to behave in this dishonest manner.'

Mr Mavridis’ conviction automatically disqualifies him from managing corporations for a period of five years following his release from prison.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.

Background

Debtor factoring involves the assigning of debts that are owed in exchange for credit advanced by a finance provider. In order to retain ongoing access to bank credit, Mr Mavridis signed end-of-month reconciliations that disguised the falsifications and had them submitted to the bank.

The S Central Group – which consisted of S Central Pty Ltd, S Central (NSW) Pty Ltd, S Central Products Pty Ltd, Expressapps Pty Ltd and Infotronics Software Pty Ltd – provided information technology services to customers in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The S Central Group companies entered into liquidation at various times between November 2009 and April 2010, leaving total deficiencies in excess of $10 million.

In April 2014, Mr Mavridis appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court after an ASIC investigation led to him being charged with 24 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception, 10 charges of false accounting and 1 charge of dishonest use of position as a director (refer: 14-079MR).

Following a two-day committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court that concluded on Tuesday 12 August 2014, Mr Mavridis was ordered to stand trial on deception charges (refer: 14-199MR).

In October 2015, Mr Mavridis was found guilty in relation to 33 charges brought by ASIC (refer: 15-303MR).

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