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Former TZ executive extradited to Australia to face fraud charges

Former TZ executive extradited to Australia to face fraud charges

John Falconer possibly faces prison time

Former TZ Limited director and chief financial officer, John Falconer, has been extradited from Thailand to Australia to face charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) after an investigation of alleged dishonest conduct.

Falconer faces 16 counts of allegedly using his position as a director dishonestly with the intention of gaining advantage for himself or others.

Falconer's activities in his capacity as a company director of the publicly-listed smart lock firm allegedly saw about $6.2 million of TZ’s funds transferred to entities associated with Falconer and another director, Andrew Sigalla, as well as other persons or entities.

ASIC alleges this took place between December 2006 and September 2008.

Falconer also faces two counts of allegedly giving false or misleading information to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in which he failed to disclose the true nature of certain payments within its reports in April 2008 and February 2009.

ASIC stated that each offence carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

Falconer left the country during ASIC’s investigation in March 2012 and the Thai Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest.

He arrived in Australia on 5 September and was escorted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to appear before the Sydney Central Local Court.

He has requested an adjournment for one week in order to prepare a release application. Falconer will remain in custody until the court hears the application on 15 September.

ASIC worked with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department and the AFP in securing Falconer’s extradition to Australia.

Falconer is the second former TZ executive to be taken to court over the alleged activities.

Andrew Sigalla, a former TZ director, has already been found guilty by the NSW Supreme Court of 24 counts of dishonest conduct, defrauding the smart lock technology company of $9 million and on 10 February, he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years.

The court found that Sigalla used his position as a director dishonestly to gain an advantage for himself or others, by causing over $8.7 million in company funds to be transferred to either himself, his related entities or others, according to ASIC.

The offences related to transfers of funds from the accounts of TZ Limited between December 2006 and March 2009. In relation to one of the counts, there was a transfer of TZ Limited shares worth approximately $500,000 to a company based in Hong Kong. 

In March this year, Sigalla launched a notice of intention to appeal against conviction and sentence.

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Tags fraudASICTZ Limited

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