The Federal Court has imposed impose civil pecuniary penalties upon the directors of the trustee of a regulated superannuation fund in respect of admitted contraventions of the SIS Act.

  • In the period 31 March 2000 to August 2013, the first respondent, Early Sunshine Pty Ltd (Early Sunshine), was the trustee of the George MacDonald & Sons Pty Ltd Superannuation Scheme No 2 (the Fund).
  • For approximately 5 years before March 2000, another corporation, George MacDonald & Sons Pty Ltd (GMS) was the trustee of the Fund. GMS carried on a freight trucking business.
  • At all relevant times, each of the second to fourth respondents was a shareholder and director of Early Sunshine.
  • The business experienced financial difficulties and the Commissioner alleged that the respondents had contravened various provisions of the SIS Act in connection with the Fund eg Early Sunshine made loans of over $500,000 from the Fund to GMS [the employer and an associate of the members].

The contraventions concerned:

  • failing to ensure Fund maintained for prescribed purposes;
  • breaching in-house asset rules;
  • failing to deal with an entity at arm’s length.

The Court said that by the time it came to make declarations and final orders, there was no dispute among the parties as to any aspect of the case. In the result, the Court imposed pecuniary penalties on the directors of the fund trustee totalling $39,000.

(Olesen v Early Sunshine Pty Ltd & Ors [2015] FCA 12, Federal Court, Foster J, 23 January 2015.)

[LTN 17, 28/1/15]