Property development director found guilty on 20 counts of stealing

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A former director of now-defunct property developer Ocean Key Holdings Ltd has been found guilty of stealing more than $820,000.

Neil James Duckworth was accused of stealing the property in October, 2007. ASIC alleged he used money borrowed by Ocean Key Holdings Ltd and secured against land owned by the company to pay for personal and other unrelated expenses.

Duckworth, of Duncraig, Western Australia, was charged with 22 counts of stealing as a director.

Following a four-week trial in the Perth District Court late last week, a jury found Duckworth guilty on 20 counts.

Each of the charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

"Directors are important gatekeepers within Australia’s financial system, being the directing mind and will of a company," says ASIC Commissioner John Price.

"ASIC expects them to act honestly, take their responsibilities seriously and discharge their duties carefully."

The matter will return to Perth District Court on December 20, 2013 for a sentencing hearing.

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