Another Liquidator bites the dust
ASIC announced at the start of July that it had cancelled the registration of (yet) another liquidator. This one was a long fight and the Liquidator has indicated that he plans to appeal to the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, so there may be more to come.
The cancellation of the registration was a result of a CALDB decision from 24 June 2014, with the deregistration taking effect after 14 days. The action was against Pino Fiorentino. This one had a long history. ASIC applied to CALDB in June 2013 when Mr Fiorentino was with Hamiltons Chartered Accountants. Mr Fiorentino applied for and received two adjournments but wasn’t granted a third, so he applied to the AAT and then the Federal Court in an attempt to have CALDB restrained from handing down the decision on the grounds that he was denied natural justice and procedural fairness. He lost the Federal Court battle on 19 June 2014. On 26 June 2014 he filed an application with the AAT for review of CALDB decision – that application is due to be heard later this year.
So what did CALDB find? The decision related to a company called ERB International Pty Ltd. CALDB found that “Mr Fiorentino dishonestly used his position as the liquidator of ERB, failed to act in good faith in the best interests of the company and its creditors, lacked competence and failed to comply with his legal requirements.”
CALDB found in favour of 20 of the 25 ASIC contentions.
This deregistration of Mr Fiorentino followed another ASIC action against a stalwart of the insolvency profession, Bill Hamilton, who was suspended for six months from April 2014 for his role as joint liquidator of ERB.
The ASIC announcement is kind enough to list eight other liquidator bannings or deregistrations since June 2013. That’s a heavy toll considering there are under 300 liquidators in Australia.