21-362MR Interior design director charged with falsifying financial records

Adriana Benhamou Weiss of Sydney, New South Wales, has appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney faced with twelve charges of falsifying financial records.

Ms Benhamou Weiss was the company director of the interior design business Benhamou Designs Pty Ltd (ACN 167 579 893). ASIC alleges that between November and December 2016, she directed an employee of her firm to create false financial records relating to the affairs of Benhamou Designs.

ASIC alleges that twelve false financial records were created showing payments made by Benhamou Designs to suppliers and contractors that had not been made.

Benhamou Designs went into liquidation on 4 July 2018 and was wound up owing approximately $8,118,362 to creditors.

ASIC’s investigation was aided by a supplementary report lodged by Benhamou Design’s liquidator, Robyn Duggan of Ferrier Hodgson. ASIC assisted Ms Duggan in preparing the supplementary report by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.

Ms Benhamou Weiss will next appear before the Court on 15 February 2022.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter following a referral from ASIC.

At the time of the conduct, concealing, destroying, mutilating, or falsifying securities or books, contrary to s1307(1) of the Corporations Act carried a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.

Editor’s note 1:

The matter returns to court for mention on 12 April 2022 at Downing Centre Local Court.

Editor’s note 2:

On 12 April 2022, the matter was adjourned to 7 June 2022 for committal.

Editor’s note 13:

On 7 June 2022, the matter was adjourned to 21 June 2022.

Editor’s note 14:

On 21 June 2022 in the Downing Centre Local Court, Ms Weiss entered pleas of guilty to three charges of breaching s1307(1) of the Corporations Act. The matter has been committed to the Sydney District Court for sentence on 22 July 2022.

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