Grain trader pleads guilty

Photo: File.
Photo: File.

A Murray Bridge man has been placed on a $1000 good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to an offence related to the collapse of his grain trading company four years ago.

In the Adelaide Magistrates’ Court on October 5, Brenton Jeffrey Strauss did not dispute the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions' allegation that he acted as an officer of a company while it was under administration.

The company in question was Sapphire (SA) Pty Ltd, trading under the name River City Grain Co, which he had placed under the administration of Anthony Matthews and Associates on March 14, 2014.

Mr Strauss attempted to vary a deed between Sapphire and another company five days later, changing the details of a payment.

Under section 437C of the Corporations Act, he was not authorised to do so at the time.

No conviction was recorded, but Mr Strauss was asked to be of good behaviour for 18 months.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission had originally brought two other charges against Mr Strauss, also relating to Sapphire's collapse, following a two-year investigation.

The matter took another two years to proceed through the magistrates' court system, first in Murray Bridge, then in Adelaide.

It was adjourned 17 times before Mr Strauss agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge.

The offence was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, and relied on reports from the administrator, Anthony Matthews.