The former director of two property companies has been re-sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment after misappropriating funds from clients.
The Victorian Court of Appeal has upheld the appeal of Anthony Nicholls, former director of Penton Properties Pty Ltd and Zantholls International Pty Ltd, against the severity of a sentence imposed on him last year for using his position as a director of the companies dishonestly.
Between October 2004 and August 2006, Mr Nicholls used the two companies to raise funds for properties in Victoria and a large proportion of the funds were used for Mr Nicholls’ advantage; he pleaded guilty to authorising the withdrawal of $756,908.31.
In February 2014, Mr Nicholls was ordered to stand trial on 136 criminal charges and was charged with 113 counts of breaching his duties as a director, three counts of making false and misleading statements, 19 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and one count of obtaining property by deception.
On 6 November 2015, Mr Nicholls was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment to be released after serving three years; he has now been re-sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment, to be released after serving two years and six months.
Penton Properties was placed into liquidation in October 2007, owing creditors more than $4 million – a point highlighted by Judge Jane Patrick when she handed down her sentence.
“Mr Nicholls had placed multiple nails in the coffin of a terminally-ill business and his moral culpability was high,” she said.