Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Appeal denied for jailed CEO

gavel ta  gavel ta
Hannah Dowling 5 minute read

A former CEO who is currently serving a four-year jail sentence for conspiring to defraud CBA and his company will remain in prison after his conviction and sentence appeal was dismissed by the courts.

In 2017, the former CEO and executive chairman of failed health-food chain Healthzone Ltd, Peter David Roach, was found guilty by a jury of conspiring with a fellow director, Ge Wu, to defraud the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Healthzone by obtaining a $1-million loan.

According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the $1-million loan was reportedly awarded to Healthzone for on-lending to Mr Roach to buy shares in Healthzone; however, an investigation found that the majority of the funds ($900,000) were instead used by Mr Roach to settle a personal property issue, with the balance used to pay personal and business expenses.

Mr Roach reportedly then authorised two ASX announcements that falsely stated that he had purchased shares in Healthzone and was found to have falsified company documents, including altering legal advice provided by Healthzone’s lawyers. 


In December 2015, Mr Roach was sentenced to a total of 18 months of imprisonment and served six months after pleading guilty to conspiring with two of his former directors to commit market manipulation offences in relation to the shares of Healthzone. 

Further, on 27 November, Mr Roach was then sentenced to four years and three months of imprisonment for fraud and related offences. 

On 31 October 2018, Mr Roach filed with the Criminal Court of Appeal a notice of appeal against his conviction and sentence.

The hearing of appeal took place on 23 April, in which it was argued that the falsification of documents was a technical breach. 

However, the appeal was dismissed by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on 19 July, after the court found that any such characterisation of those offences as “technical” or “trivial” was “wholly inapt and unjustified”.


In dismissing the appeal, the court found that the sentence imposed was not manifestly excessive and lay comfortably within the reasonable exercise of sentencing discretion in the circumstances of the case.

ASIC commissioner Cathie Armour said she believes the court’s decision to deny the appeal and honour the original sentence “sends a clear message that the consequences of this type of misconduct are serious”.

“Mr Roach’s conduct was particularly egregious given his significant position as the executive chairman and chief executive officer of a publicly listed company,” Ms Armour said.

[Related: ASIC takes action against mortgage professionals]

Appeal denied for jailed CEO
gavel ta
TheAdviser logo

Are you a new-to-industry broker in the process of growing your business? Then there’s some great news: The Adviser’s New Broker Academy is back in 2021 and will provide you with essential insights into cutting-edge tools, strategies and processes to fast-track to success. Don’t miss your chance to attend. To secure your FREE place, visit newbroker.com.au now!

gavel ta
Hannah Dowling

Hannah Dowling

Hannah Dowling is a journalist for The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

Prior to joining Momentum Media, Hannah worked as a content producer for a podcast catering to property investors. She also spent six years working in the real estate sector at a local agency. 

Email Hannah at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



more from the adviser
Sydney Sydney mayor launches business support, calls for JobKeeper

Sydney’s mayor has urged the federal government to resurrect Jo...

mortgage payments money Banks accused of bias against BNPL in lending process

An executive from buy now, pay later provider Zip has echoed repo...

Brisbane bridge sunset ta Expect Olympics-fuelled growth in Qld, says broker

South-East Queensland can expect a spike in residential and comme...