One.Tel director banned for 10 years

Former OneTel director, Bradley Keeling, has been banned from being a director of a corporation for 10 years and is liable to pay compensation of $92 million to One.Tel under orders of the NSW Supreme Court announced last week.

The Court made orders giving effect to the settlement of ASIC’s civil claim against Keeling which was lodged on March 13.

In accordance with the settlement, Keeling is liable to pay $92 million in compensation to the collapsed telecommunications company One.Tel. The amount is reportedly equivalent to the fall in One.Tel’s value during the alleged breach in director’s duties. This liability is expected to be shared among any other director of the company found to be in creach of the Corporations act.

Keeling faced up to a 15-year ban from being a director or manager of any corporation, but received a more lenient order of 10 years and a two- year stay of the order to allow him to organise his affairs.

Keeling has agreed to pay ASIC’s costs of $750,000 as part of the settlement.

Under the agreement with ASIC, Keeling has admitted to contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 between February and May 2001 in relation to the discharge of his duties as a director of One.Tel.

“Keeling has taken responsibility for his actions, and has expressed his contrition and regret for what he acknowledges was a serious failure to discharge a number of his core responsibilities as a director," ASIC chairman, David Knott, said. "These include the quite fundamental obligations of taking reasonable steps to be aware of the compay’s true financial position and circumstances, and of taking care to ensure that the borad was informed of those matters.”

Knott said that the order against Keeling for compensation was significant as it provided the liquidator of One.Tel with a legal basis to seek recovery of funds from Keeling and his insurers.

Legal proceedings against the three remaining defendants, former One.Tel directors Jodee Rich, Mark Silbermann, and John Greaves, continue. The finalisation of Keeling’s settlement follows a decision of Supreme Court judge Justice Austin on February 24 to reject an application by John Greaves for the dismissal of proceedings against him.

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