WA Court dismisses appeal by former carpet company secretary

THE Western Australian Court of Criminal Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Stewart Milne, a former company secretary and financial controller of Allied Carpet Industries. The appeal followed an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and subsequent conviction of Mr Milne in May 2004 of fraudulently obtaining an overdraft facility of $176,000 from the National Australia Bank. The District Court of WA imposed a 16 month jail sentence which was fully suspended for two years. ASIC alleged that Mr Milne assisted a director of Allied, Michael Frank Simich to obtain an overdraft facility of $176,000 in June 2000. It was alleged that the overdraft was obtained by providing false information to the NAB, which the bank relied upon to grant the overdraft. The funds were used to maintain Allied’s capital, as well as paying interest to Allied’s investors, as part of an illegal investment scheme operated by Mr Simich. ASIC did not allege that Mr Milne was knowingly concerned in the fraudulent investment scheme. On June 28 2002, Mr Simich pleaded guilty to 50 charges of fraudulently obtaining funds from investors and seven charges of stealing funds obtained from investors totalling $2,774,000. Allied was in the business of supplying and laying carpet in various areas of WA before the Supreme Court of WA placed it into provisional liquidation in October 2000.


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