Whodunnit? Aurora traces misappropriated funds to former parent company
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Aurora Funds Management are getting closer to sniffing out the culprit behind an alleged unauthorised transfer of $1 million in company funds, this week pointing the finger at its former parent company.
The fund manager (ASX:AUP), led by well-known corporate raider Nicholas Bolton, first announced the theft to shareholders in late November.
On Monday, Aurora’s property investment arm told the market it had traced the funds back to SIV Asset Management (ASX:SAM) – the former parent company that sold Aurora to Keybridge Capital back in 2015.
In an announcement to the market, chief executive John Patton said external fraud investigation consultants had zeroed in on just where the $1 million had gone.
“Aurora has thus far determined that funds misappropriated from AUP were fraudulently transferred directly to an ASX-listed company, SIV Asset Management Limited… there was no legitimate purpose for any of the transfers from the AUP bank account,” he said.
“Aurora has written to all third-party recipients demanding they repay the stolen money to Aurora and, if the money has been dissipated, to provide details of the amounts transferred or paid and to whom.”
Shares in the company were trading at $4.19 at close on Monday, down sharply from $4.47 last Thursday.
The alleged recipient of the money, SIV Asset Management, sold its main business in April and told shareholders in its annual report that it was seeking out investment opportunities.
On October 10, SIV Asset Management was suspended from trade at 7.3c, after a six month grace period to find a buyer or a new business to transform into had passed.
It is not the first time the companies have fallen out.
In May this year Aurora Funds Management alleged funds of almost $400,000 were payable from SIV Asset Management relating to profits from other related funds during the 2015 acquisition – a claim SIV denied.
Keybridge bought Aurora from SIV Asset Management in March 2015 and sold it to Seventh Orion the next year.
A separate Aur0ra-managed fund (ASX:ABW) continues its legal fight for Molopo Energy with Keybridge Capital.