Fraudulent phoenix companies in government spotlight

A number of key government agencies, including this department, are working together to combat fraudulent phoenix behaviour through the Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum. The agencies are sharing intelligence, data, legislative ideas and experiences to assist in the detection and deterrence of fraudulent phoenix behaviour.

Fraudulent phoenix activity is where a company deliberately liquidates to avoid paying creditors and then carries on the same or similar business with the same ownership, via another entity. This is not only illegal but has far reaching and unfair consequences for the community - employees, contractors and suppliers do not receive payments and claims they are entitled to.

There are serious consequences for people who promote or intentionally participate in fraudulent phoenix activity including criminal convictions, custodial sentences and hefty fines.

Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum members:

  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Australian Crime Commission
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Clean Energy Regulator
  • Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
  • Fair Work Building and Construction
  • Fair Work Ombudsman
  • State and territory revenue offices.

Each agency has an individual role to play when it comes to detecting and deterring fraudulent phoenix behaviour.

How the department is addressing fraudulent phoenix behaviour

The department actively participates in the Inter-Agency Phoenix Forum to share information to address the risk of Phoenix activity.

Where legislation permits, the department discloses information obtained during the administration, monitoring, intelligence, compliance and enforcement activities to other agencies.

For more information

If you suspect a company or an individual might be engaged in fraudulent phoenix activity you can report it in any of the following ways:

Phone: 1800 803772
Email: ESCE@environment.gov.au

In writing to:
Director, Environment Standards Compliance and Enforcement Section
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787, CANBERRA ACT 2601