Sydney tech exec found guilty of $9m fraud

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Sydney tech exec found guilty of $9m fraud

Ex-TZ director took funds to gamble, pay mortgage.

The former Sydney-based chairman of listed technology firm TZ Limited has been found guilty of defrauding the company of $9 million.

Andrew Sigalla was yesterday convicted of 24 counts of dishonest conduct following a month-long trial in which he had pleaded not guilty.

The court found Sigalla had used his position as a director to redirect $8.7 million in funds out from the company either to himself or related entities, in large part to fund a gambling habit and pay down a $10 million mortgage.

Bookmaker Tom Waterhouse had testified during the trial that Sigalla was "known by all the big bookmakers" and considered a "big punter".

"In relation to one of the counts [Sigalla was convicted of], there was a transfer of TZ Limited shares worth approximately $500,000 to a company based in Hong Kong," ASIC said in a statement today.

"The funds transferred to Mr Sigalla's various accounts were then largely used to reduce his debt with bookmaker Tom Waterhouse or to make mortgage payments on behalf of one of his personal companies."

An investigation into Sigalla's actions by ASIC commenced in 2009, and the executive was charged and arrested in 2013. He had transferred the funds between December 2006 and March 2009 during his tenure with the company.

Sigalla will be sentenced in the Supreme Court of NSW on February 3 next year. Bail has been revoked.

He faces as much as five years in jail and/ or a fine of $220,000 for each count of dishonest conduct.

TZ Limited is an ASX-listed smart lock techbology company led by financial services guru and media personality Mark Bouris.

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