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Former Australian Capital Reserve directors plead guilty

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Three former directors of Australian Capital Reserve Limited (ACR) have pleaded guilty in the New South Wales District Court to charges relating to false or misleading statements in the company’s accounts and a prospectus brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Samuel Pogson of Wahroonga, NSW and Murray Lapham of Turramurra, NSW, each pleaded guilty to one charge under the NSW Crimes Act of making a false or misleading statement to obtain a financial advantage for ACR. Steven Martin of West Pennant Hills, NSW, pleaded guilty to a similar charge on 19 August 2011.

ASIC alleges that the directors concurred in the making of a statement in ACR’s Prospectus 6 lodged on 7 April 2004, which contained the financial statements of ACR’s parent company, Castle Investment Company Limited and controlled entities (CIC) as at 31 December 2003.

ASIC alleges that the CIC stated profit before income tax as at 31 December 2003 of AUD7,409,483 was false or misleading in a material particular in that the stated profit before income tax was inflated.

Pogson has also pleaded guilty to one charge under s1308(2) of the Corporations Act 2001 for making a false or misleading statement in a form lodged with ASIC.

ASIC alleges that in ACR’s Prospectus 6, Pogson made a statement in a Director’s Declaration that the financial statements of CIC gave ‘a true and fair view of the financial position as at 31 December 2003 and of the performance for the half-year ended on that date of the Company and Economic Entity’, that to his knowledge was false or misleading in a material particular in that the stated profit before income tax was inflated.

The matter will return to the Downing Centre District Court on 20 October 2011 for sentencing.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

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