Director jailed over $13m Westpac loan fraud

The former director of a national company has been jailed after fraudulently obtaining $13 million from Westpac Bank.

Former Kleenmaid director Gary Collyer Armstrong was sentenced to seven years jail on Friday for his role in the collapse of the national white goods distributor.

In August this year Mr Armstrong pleaded guilty to insolvent trading and fraudulently obtaining $13 million from Westpac.

Appearing before Brisbane District Court last week, Mr Armstrong was sentenced to seven years jail for one count of dishonestly obtaining $13 million from Westpac (to be eligible for release on parole after two years and four months), and two years and eight months for two counts of insolvent trading (with a recognisance release order after 10 months on a five-year good behaviour bond). The sentences are to be served concurrently which means Mr Armstrong will not be eligible for parole until 2 February 2018.

ASIC commissioner John Price said the outcome should serve as a warning to corporate Australia that ASIC will not tolerate directors and officers of companies who conduct their business dishonestly to the detriment of their creditors and, importantly, consumers.

“It cannot be any clearer,” Mr Price said.

“If you choose to act in this way, there is a very good chance you will be caught and there is a very good chance you will go to jail.”

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.

The trial of the other two former Kleenmaid directors, Andrew Eric Young and Bradley Wendell Young, has been set for 14 March 2016.

Kleenmaid entered voluntary administration in 2009 and liquidators reported consolidated debts of almost $100 million. ASIC brought criminal charges against the former directors in 2012.

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