One of the two pre-insolvency advisors to telco retailer Cap Coast Telecoms has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to one charge of dealing in the proceeds of crime.
The former pre-insolvency advisors, Stephen O’Neill and John Narramore, who advised Cap Coast Telecoms director Richard Lugwig when the company was wound up and liquidated in early 2015, pleaded guilty to money laundering charges earlier this year.
Ludwig was one of the directors of five Queensland Leading Edge Telecoms stores which were then part of the Cap Coast Telecoms group. As reported by ARN in March, Ludwig was charged earlier in the year with money laundering and breaching director duties, allegedly with the help of the pre-insolvency advisors.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleged that O’Neill and Narramore advised Ludwig about an asset protection strategy that would involve the illegal removal of company assets so as to prevent creditors having access to those assets.
In October 2014, according to ASIC, Narramore, along with O’Neill, then of SME’s R Us, advised Ludwig, a former director of Cap Coast Telecoms, to allegedly “engage in activity that would involve the illegal removal of company assets to prevent creditors from having access to these assets”.
The corporate regulator alleged that Narramore and O’Neill issued fictitious invoices from companies under their control to Cap Coast Telecoms and arranged for $743,050 to be transferred from Cap Coast Telecoms bank accounts to the bank accounts of companies under their control. Narramore and O’Neill then allegedly transferred the funds to Ludwig or his associates.
“Once funds had been transferred by...Narramore and O’Neill, Cap Coast Telecoms was wound up on 19 January 2019. At the time, it owed creditors $2,955,128,” ASIC said in a statement.
Judge Everson, who presided over the case, found that Narramore’s conduct was a “serious example of money laundering, a sophisticated scheme, involving a significant amount of money and motivated by financial gain,” according to ASIC.