On 21 December 2022, Ashley Paul D’Sylva of Leederville, Western Australia pleaded guilty in the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court to one charge of recklessly failing to exercise his powers for a proper purpose while a company director of former ASX-listed company, Continental Coal Limited (in Liquidation).
An ASIC Investigation found that between about 21 and 25 February 2014, Dr D’Sylva arranged the repayment of $915,000 to Celtic Capital Pty Ltd, a client of his business, Empire Equity Limited.
Celtic Capital had paid $1 million to Continental Coal as part of a company restructure. The funds could only be used for paying trade creditors of Continental Coal, undertaking a rights issue and paying approved company expenses.
Dr D’Sylva was aware of Continental Coal’s financial difficulties and the agreements restricting the use of the funds paid by Celtic Capital when he instructed and authorised company secretary, Ms Jane Flegg, to make the repayments to Celtic Capital.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. Dr D’Sylva’s matter is set down for sentencing next year with bail conditions renewed on the same terms until sentencing.