A former director of an ASX-listed Sydney technology business has been sentenced to 10 years prison for using company funds to pay off gambling debts.
Andrew John Sigalla was sentenced to a minimum of six years imprisonment in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday after being found guilty of 24 counts of using his position as director of TZ Limited to “dishonestly gain financial advantage”.
The offences took place between December 2006 and March 2009. Sigalla was found to have transferred $8.6 million from the company, which produces electronics fastenings and software, to his personal accounts or associated entities.
The funds were used to reduce gambling debts with bookmaker Tom Waterhouse, or make mortgage payments on behalf of his personal company.
During the trial, Waterhouse testified that Sigalla was well-known among local bookmakers.
One transaction worth about $500,000 involved TZ shares going out to an entity in Hong Kong.
In sentencing Sigalla, Justice Christine Adamson said his actions “demonstrated considerable deception, ingenuity, opportunism and greed”.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), which initiated the case, was satisfied with the outcome.
“This sentence reflects the gravity of the offending in this case and shows that the courts take offences involving dishonesty by company directors seriously,” ASIC commissioner John Price said.
“This should serve as a timely reminder to company directors about the serious consequences of failing to act with propriety.”
Nowawdays, TZ Ltd is headed by chairman and executive director Mark Bouris, the founder of Wizard Home Loans and chairman of Yellow Brick Road.