The founder of Italian restaurant chain Criniti’s has been banned from managing any company until 2023.
Frank Anthony Criniti, whose namesake chain of Italian eateries was a sponsor of NRL team Sydney Roosters in 2017, was disqualified by the corporate regulator on Friday as a result of his involvement in seven failed companies not related to his restaurants.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said the firms owed creditors more than $3.5 million.
Mr Criniti has been granted permission to continue managing restaurants in Castle Hill, Darling Harbour and Woolloomooloo until the end of July.
ASIC said Mr Criniti had managed or acted as a de-facto director of now-liquidated firms including Auswide Auto Wholesalers and Diamondwish.
Using liquidators’ reports, ASIC said it found Mr Criniti had provided false information to authorities, failed to pay tax and improperly used his corporate position to gain an advantage for himself and others.
A Criniti Group spokeswoman said the ASIC matter was not in connection with the current group of Criniti’s restaurants, which has recently appointed a new senior leadership team and advisory board.
“Mr Criniti has fully cooperated with ASIC and learnt an immense amount in the process,” she said.
“Early in his career as a young restaurateur, Mr Criniti was involved with these companies and acted on advice received at the time.”
The Criniti’s chain started in Parramatta in 2003 before expanding across Sydney and into Newcastle and Melbourne.
It plans to open restaurants in Wollongong and Perth.
Mr Criniti, who is aged in his late 30s, is disqualified until May 20, 2023.