Peter Mavridis, the former CEO of the S Central group of companies, has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for "obtaining financial advantage by deception and false accounting" after a Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.
The County Court of Victoria found Mavridis guilty of the 33 charges in October, which included 23 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and 10 counts of false accounting under the Victorian Crimes Act.
The minimum non-parole period will be three years. His conviction automatically disqualifies him from managing corporations for a period of five years following his release from prison.
The S Central Group had entered into liquidation at various times between November 2009 and April 2010, and left total deficiencies in excess of $10 million. Its assets were purchased by Brennan IT in 2009.
The court ruled that between January and September of 2009, Mavridis directed the financial controller of the group, David Cologna, to submit duplicated and/or falsely inflated invoices to National Australia Bank under a debtor factoring agreement, which led to credit totalling approximately $4.8 million being advanced to companies within the S Central Group.
Cologna was jailed in 2013 for 12 months for falsifying the company's books.
In handing down his sentence, Judge Punshon said that Mavridis' conduct was "deliberate, repetitive and systemic" and that he had "used and exploited an employee" as part of the offending.
'Mister 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."