The former director and chief financial officer of TZ Limited has been jailed for four and a half years for his role in syphoning $6.25 million of company funds.
John Falconer, who was extradited from Thailand in September 2017, was accused of dishonestly transferring $1.4 million to himself and his own firms between December 2006 and September 2008 for his own material gain.
During that period, he also authorised the remaining amount to be sent to entities associated with fellow director Andrew Sigalla, who was jailed for nearly 10 years in February on fraud charges totalling $9 million.
According to court documents, Sigalla owed more than $2 million gambling debts with the firms Betstar and Tom and Bill Waterhouse, which he paid using money transferred from TZ. Roughly $500,000 in shares were also transferred to Joyeagle, a company based in Hong Kong.
In addition to these, Falconer was also accused of authorising false material to be sent to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in his role as CFO between April 2008 and February 2009.
Falconer pleaded guilty to five counts of dishonest conduct and one count of giving false or misleading information to the ASX on 8 November.
He will serve at least three years in jail following his sentence by the Supreme Court of New South Wales on 16 November.
“As a director of TZ Ltd, the offender was placed in a position of considerable trust, which he abused over an extended period,” said Justice Christine Adamson in her closing remarks.”He acted in gross dereliction of his duty. The offences involved both dishonesty and greed.”
Falconer admitted to psychologist Karen Burgoyne that he acted out of greed and poor judgement, which he rationalised on the basis that it was relatively common behaviour and that there was a chance that he would be able to pay the money back.
He was said to have shown genuine contrition upon his return to Australia evidenced by his cooperation with the investigation and his early guilty plea.
In March this year, Sigalla launched a notice of intention to appeal against conviction and sentence.