Former auditor of defunct video platform Big Un in court

Former auditor of defunct video platform Big Un in court

The former auditor of Big Un, parent company of video production platform Big Review TV (BRTV), appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court last week charged with making a false or misleading statement in a financial report.

According to the corporate watchdog, former lead auditor Graham Swan allegedly signed an independent auditor’s report which stated the financial report of Big Un gave a true and fair value of the company’s financial position and its performance at 30 June 2017.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) alleges that by signing this report Swan made a statement that was false or misleading, considering the company collapsed shortly thereafter.

Big Un, founded by Brandon Evertz, was a media company making video content for clients and hosting it on the BRTV platform.

In 2014, the company listed via the reverse takeover of Republic Gold when the founder was just 20 years’ old.

Four years later and BRTV was placed into voluntary administration, with the parent claiming the move was a bid to preserve value for shareholders.

In addition, the company’s CEO and the founder’s father Richard Evertz resigned amid the recirculation of historic media reports alleging he had previously been jailed for blackmailing men in public toilets by impersonating a police officer.

While Big Un insisted that Richard Evertz' past convictions did not require disclosure and did not amount to criminal conduct, the company confirmed that it was aware of its chief's past.

"At all times the company was aware of the offences in the media reports but formed the view that at all relevant times they were spent convictions that did not require disclosure," it said.

Ultimately, Big Un was placed in a trading halt and suspended from ASX quotation in February 2018.

In August of the same year, administrators were appointed and Big Un was removed from the official ASX list, with directors of BRTV revealing the company had a $47 million asset deficit and secured creditors held a $57 million claim on the company’s assets.

ASIC, which is still investigating Big Un, says “auditors are important gatekeepers to the market and play a key role in ensuring that financial statements are accurately stated so that investors can rely upon them when making decisions to invest in a company”.

Swan is facing a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or a fine of $42,000, or both.

It comes after the Companies Auditors Disciplinary Board (CADB) suspended the registration of Jakin Leong Loke for 12 months due to his involvement in the 2017 audit of Big Un.

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