Bill Express salesman given jail sentence in ongoing scandal

A former Bill Express salesman has been sentenced to a year in prison by the Victorian County Court after he provided false and misleading information to the corporate regulator.

The decision is the latest punishment in the ongoing Bill Express scandal. More recently, the liquidator of the failed payments company lodged a writ against accounting group Pitcher Partners, accusing the firm of signing off on inaccurate accounts.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said yesterday that former salesman Enzo Di Donato, who was the sole director of 3D Salesforce, was given a suspended sentence of one year.

3D Salesforce was placed in administration earlier this year. The company was involved in the manipulation of Bill Express’ share price – a key factor in the company’s collapse. The investigation into the share price was triggered by manipulation occurring between 2006 and 2008.

ASIC said Di Donato provided false and misleading information regarding the company’s trading account, which was the sole source of funding for his share trading. The misleading information related to the deposit of more than $1 million into 3D Salesforce’s bank account, and a denial that Bank Express parent ONQ’s chief financial officer Peter Couper made payments to the company.

“Mr Di Donato is the third person to be sentenced as a result of ASIC’s market manipulation investigation into the share price of Bill Express,” ASIC said.

The others include Newton Chan, a former Macquarie Equities director, who pleaded guilty to manipulating the Bill Express share price. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Earlier this year, Peter Couper pleaded guilty for charges brought against him, including making false or misleading statements. He was given a suspended sentence of 21 months.

 

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