False Statements by Company Directors Etc
A company director or officer of a body corporate makes a false statement when they publish a misleading or deceptive statement and they do so to intentionally deceive the members or creditors of the company.
Penalties the Court can impose for this charge:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
The Offence of Possession of Falsification of Documents:
This offence is governed under section 85 of the Crimes Act 1958.
It is not only company directors who are in a position to commit this offence. Pursuant to section 85, any officer of a body corporate or unincorporated association, including someone purporting to be a director or officer of a body corporate, can also be guilty of making a false statement. Further, in circumstances where a body corporate or association is managed by its members, the members can also be found guilty of making a false statement if the statement was published in connection with their management functions.
The offence of False Statements by Company Directors is an indictable offence and may be punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
What Actions Might Constitute A False Statement By A Company Director?
- In a letter to creditors, the company director misrepresents productivity data in order to establish further investment.
- In reality, a company is financially performing badly. A company director sends an email to the members of the company stating that performance targets are being met.
What the Police Must Prove:
- The Accused is a company director, officer of a corporation or member exercising management powers;
- The Accused intended to deceive members or creditors;
- The Accused published a written statement or account;
- The Accused knew the statement or account was or might be misleading, false or deceptive; and
- The falsehood was in relation to a material particular.
Possible Defences for False Statement by Company Director:
- The statements made were not false, misleading or deceptive.
- The Accused did not intend to deceive members or creditors.
- The Accused had no knowledge the statements were not true.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
This is a strictly indictable charge which means that the matter must be heard in the County Court.