Corporate regulator ASIC has disqualified former Hygrade Group CEO Rudolph (Rudi) Jansen, of Trentham, Victoria from managing corporations for the maximum period of five years due to his involvement in the failure of four Melbourne companies that owed over $8 million to unsecured creditors. In October, Hygrade MD Alf Holmes was also banned for five years over his involvement in three of the companies.
Hygrade’s former factory in Thomastown, Melbourne
Between January 2000 and February 2018, Rudi Jansen was the director of four companies:
Hygrade Cutting Formes Co. Pty Ltd ACN 004 880 988 (HCF);
Laser Dies Australasia Pty Ltd ACN 090 857 524 (Laser Dies);
Hygrade Group Pty Ltd ACN 607 402 782 (Hygrade Group); and
Hygrade Management & Software Pty Ltd ACN 133 366 453 (HMS).
“All of the companies were involved in the laser and water cutting industry,” ASIC said.
In its decision, ASIC found that Jansen:
- lodged false documents with ASIC that appointed individuals as directors of HCF and HMS without their consent in an attempt to avoid the personal liability associated with the company’s significant superannuation and taxation debts while he continued to manage the companies without being recorded as a director on the corporate register;
- failed to take all reasonable steps to secure compliance by HMS with its obligation to keep written financial records;
- failed to comply with HMS’s statutory obligations to lodge Business Activity Statements or Income Tax Returns with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO);
- failed to comply with HMS’s statutory obligations to make Pay As You Go (PAYG) payments to the ATO or payments to employee’s superannuation funds; and
- failed to prevent HMS from incurring debt totalling approximately $1,058,865 when the company was most likely insolvent.
“At the time of ASIC’s decision, the four companies owed a combined total of $8,042,160 to unsecured creditors, including $2,453,678 owing to the Australian Taxation Office," ASIC said.
Jansen is disqualified from managing corporations until 24 November 2027. He has the right to a review of ASIC’s decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
In disqualifying Jansen, ASIC relied on reports by HCF’s liquidators Gess Rambaldi and David Vasudevan of Pitcher Partners and HMS’s liquidators David Vasudevan and Andrew Yeo of Pitcher Partners. ASIC assisted the liquidators of HMS to prepare their report by providing funding from the Assetless Administration Fund.
ASIC maintains a banned and disqualified persons register that provides information about people who have been disqualified from:
- involvement in the management of a corporation;
- auditing self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs); or
- practising in the financial services or credit industry.