The Supreme Court of South Australia earlier this month ordered the suspension of Peter Ivan Macks’ liquidator registration for a period of three years after the court found that, in 2010, Mr Macks fabricated documentation to deceive an ASIC investigation into his conduct as liquidator of Bernsteen Pty Ltd and Newmore Pty Ltd.
The Inspector-General in Bankruptcy has now suspended Mr Macks’ registration as a trustee for the same period of three years as a result of the Supreme Court’s findings.
“Trustees fulfil an important role in society and carry significant responsibilities,” said Gavin McCosker, deputy chief executive of the Australian Financial Security Authority. “And as a result, their character must be beyond reproach.
“It is important that all trustees deal with all regulators daily and honestly. As a result of his actions as a liquidator, Mr Macks’ registration as a trustee has been suspended for three years.”
ASIC alleged that Mr Macks incurred about $150,000 in legal fees after launching litigation proceedings on behalf of Bernsteen in an effort to recover a debt of less than $28,000, despite his lawyer’s advice against it.
Mr Macks was a principal adviser at PPB at the time he fabricated the documents, and is now working at Macks Advisory in Adelaide.
“The position of liquidator is a repository of public trust; the public is entitled to trust a liquidator to perform their functions to a high standard and with scrupulous attention to obligations of candour, honesty and integrity,” Justice Doyle said in his judgment.
Justice Doyle has ordered the removal of Mr Macks from all current appointments as liquidator or receiver and manager, and that Mr Macks be restrained from accepting any kind of corporate insolvency appointment during his suspension period.
Mr Macks has also been ordered to pay 50 per cent of ASIC’s proceeding costs.
John Buckley is a journalist at Accountants Daily.
Before joining the team in 2021, John worked at The Sydney Morning Herald. His reporting has featured in a range of outlets including The Washington Post, The Age, and The Saturday Paper.