Appeal dismissed for former MFS execs involved in $147.5M misappropriation

Appeal dismissed for former MFS execs involved in $147.5M misappropriation

The Queensland Court of Appeal has dismissed appeals from three former executives who were connected to the misappropriation of $147.5 million at MFS, which collapsed in 2008 with debts in the order of $2.5 billion.

The court dismissed appeals from MFS Investment Management's (MFSIM) former CEO Guy Hutchings and former deputy CEO Craig White, as well as an appeal by Marilyn Watts, a former funds manager at MFSIM's Premium Income Fund (PIF).

All three have been ordered to pay the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) costs for their appeals.

In a Supreme Court decision in May last year, White was permanently disqualified from managing corporations, while the period of the ban was 25 years for Hutchings and five years for Watts. 

Apart from fines for these former executives which totalled $1.09 million, White was ordered to pay $205 million compensation to PIF and Hutchings was ordered to pay $28 million. 

In a separate appeal brought by another former MFS CEO and director Michael Christodolou King the court partially allowed the appeal finding that King had not contravened the Corporations Act.

The court found that his contraventions were limited to his being knowingly concerned in MFSIM's contravention by the misapplication of $130 million of PIF's money. The court has given further directions to King and ASIC in relation to the finalisation of his appeal.

In the 2017 decision, King was disqualified for 20 years, fined $300,000 and ordered to pay $177 million to PIF as well as 80 per cent of ASIC's costs.  

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