A former executive director of ABC Learning Centres Ltd has been committed to stand trial on criminal charges of breaching his duties as a director.
Martin Kemp, the former chief executive of the Australian and New Zealand operations of ABC Learning, was committed for trial following the conclusion of a two week committal hearing in Brisbane Magistrates Court.
He has been committed on two charges, including one count of breaching his duties as a director and using his position as an ABC director to dishonestly gain an advantage for himself whereby he sought to sell three childcare centres to ABC between 9 and 12 January 2008.
Kemp has also been committed for allegedly failing to discharge his duties as a director of ABC in good faith and was dishonest on 1 February 2008 by not disclosing the transactions to ABC’s board members.
The charges are part of an ongoing ASIC investigation which commenced in November 2008 when ABC was placed into administration.
The charges relate to Kemp's purported sale of three childcare centres owned by companies controlled by him to ABC. The centres include Hamilton House Early Childhood Centre, Queensland, Parklands Drive Early Childhood and Pre School Centre, Boronia Heights, Queensland and Children’s Centre of Beenleigh, Queensland.
In January 2008, ABC paid deposits of $3.082 million, which is approximately 75 per cent of the purchase prices, to companies associated with Kemp (Volbane Pty Ltd and Silipo Pty Ltd). The board of ABC Learning was not informed of the transactions.
The criminal charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or a $200,000 fine.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.