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Gregg's baked goose: Aussie jury convicts Group boss for false accounting.

FCRO Subsection: 
Bryan Edwards

Just because a CFO has his hand on the cheque book doesn't mean he can write cheques for anything he likes.

It took two years, all but a few weeks, from charges being laid to securing a conviction, during which time, to be fair, ASIC was more than a little pre-occupied with the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (to give it its rarely set out full title) but at last a court has reached a determination in the case of Peter Alan Gregg, the former chief financial officer and a director of Leighton Holdings Limited, a civil engineering group.

It was not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am kind of trial: it took five weeks and that was after a false start when the trial was stopped and a new jury impanelled because of a potential conflict when, after the trial started, a juror found out what it was about and told the Court of a close relationship with one of the board of a Leighton group company on the board of which Gregg also served.

Russell John Waugh, the former managing director of Leighton Welspun Contractors Pvt Ltd, was acquitted on one count of aiding and abetting the commission of an offence by Gregg under s1307(1) of the Corporations Act 2001, which creates federal offences. ASIC alleged that Mr Gregg, as an officer of Leighton Holdings Ltd (LHL), engaged in conduct which resulted in the falsification of LHL's books and referred the matter to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. Gregg was convicted on two counts and remanded on bail to return for sentencing on 31 January 2019.