The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has dismissed an appeal filed by former director of software company TZ Limited Andrew Sigalla to overturn his conviction.
Sigalla in 2016 was found guilty of 24 counts of dishonest conduct while he was the director of the smart locking vendor, after he was found to have directed $8.6 million in company funds to fund a gambling habit and pay off a $10 million mortgage.
While the court dismissed the appeal against conviction, Sigalla’s sentence was reduced from 10 years imprisonment and a non-parole period of six years down to nine years and six months with a non-parole period of five years and nine months.
Sigalla’s conviction was based on offences he committed between December 2006 and March 2009 while he was working as TZ Limited’s chairman, director and chief executive. One of counts referred to a $500,000 transfer of TZ's shares to a company based in Hong Kong.
At the trial in 2016, Australian bookmaker Tom Waterhouse testified that Sigalla was “known by all the big bookmakers” as a “big punter”.
Investigations into Sigalla’s activity by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission started in 2009, which eventually led to his arrest in 2013 after allegedly making 16 payments totalling $6.1 million from TZ accounts to pay for his own debts. He was charged with another eight accounts in the same year.
Sigalla’s colleague and former TZ Limited chief financial officer John Falconer was also sentenced to jail in 2018 with a four year and six month term, after being found guilty of defrauding the company of $6.27 million.
Originally based in Sydney but now based in the US, TZ Limited is an ASX-listed smart lock technology company specialising in intelligent fastening technology.