ASIC has announced that it has issued civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against current and former directors and a former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of various entities within the Centro Properties Group (CNP) and Centro Retail Group (CER) (Centro).
ASIC is seeking declarations that the directors and an officer breached their duties owed to entities within Centro to take reasonable steps to ensure that information contained in financial reports and disclosed to the market, is accurate, complies with relevant accounting standards, and is not misleading..
ASIC is seeking orders to disqualify the directors and officer from managing corporations and to impose pecuniary penalties on them.
ASIC alleges that these directors and officer failed to discharge their duties with due care and diligence in approving the financial reports for Centro Properties Ltd, Centro Property Trust and Centro Retail Trust for the year ended 30 June 2007.
ASIC notes that this is the first case brought where the requirement that a listed entity's CEO and CFO declare in writing to the company directors that the financial reports comply with the accounting standards will be an issue before the Court.