Mr Peter Mavridis, the former chief executive of the S Central Group of companies, has been jailed following an ASIC investigation.
Appearing before the County Court of Victoria on 12 November, Mr Mavridis, 43, of Craigieburn, was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months jail with a non-parole period of 3 years.
His sentence follows a guilty verdict by a jury in relation to 33 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception and false accounting.
According to an ASIC statement, between January and September 2009, Mr Mavridis directed the financial controller of the group to submit duplicated and/or falsely inflated invoices to National Australia Bank Ltd under a debtor factoring agreement, which led to credit totalling approximately $4.8 million being advanced to companies within the S Central Group.
In handing down his sentence, His Honour Judge Punshon said that Mr Mavridis' conduct was 'deliberate, repetitive and systemic' and that he had 'used and exploited an employee' as part of the offending.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said Mr Mavridis' sentence sends a strong message, particularly to heads of companies.
“ASIC will use all means necessary to take strong action against those considering fraud or encouraging employees to behave in this dishonest manner,” Mr Price said.
Mr Mavridis’ conviction automatically disqualifies him from managing corporations for a period of five years following his release from prison.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.
ASIC explained that debtor factoring involves the assigning of debts that are owed in exchange for credit advanced by a finance provider. In order to retain ongoing access to bank credit, Mr Mavridis signed end-of-month reconciliations that disguised the falsifications and had them submitted to the bank.
In October 2015, Mr Mavridis was found guilty in relation to 33 charges brought by ASIC.