The Australian and Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that ALT Financial Group has been convicted on multiple charges, including a failure to lodge annual financial reports, and fined a total of $123,000.
In a statement on Wednesday, ASIC said that the company failed to appear before the Downing Centre Court on 21 February and was convicted in its absence on 13 ASIC charges.
These include failures to lodge annual financial reports with ASIC and to report to members for the 2018 to 2021 financial years, to hold an annual general meeting in 2018 to 2021, and to comply with the requirement to have at least three directors, excluding alternate directors.
“The fine is one of the largest handed down for these breaches and reflects the seriousness of the offences and the potential impact it may have had on shareholders and creditors being denied information that would have enabled them to make informed decisions about their investments or dealings with the company,” ASIC said.
The regulator noted that ALT Financial Group Ltd is the holding company of a larger group of companies that operate as an alternative asset management business.
It pointed out that Section 319 of the Corporations Act requires a disclosing entity and registered scheme to lodge the complete financial reports within three months after the end of the financial year, while all other entities are required to lodge their financial reports within four months after the end of the financial year.
“ASIC will continue to prosecute companies that are negligent in their reporting responsibilities aimed at assisting shareholders, creditors, and members of the public make informed decisions,” the regulator said.
ASIC previously reported that it had prosecuted 15 companies between 1 July and 31 December 2022 for failing to comply with their obligations to lodge financial reports and obtained over $115,000 in financial penalties.