Three prominent executives from grain milling company Water Wheel Holdings and its subsidiary Water Wheel Mills are the focus of civil action this week, bought to the Victorian Supreme Court by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

David Knott, chairman of ASIC, said that the commission is alleging that the men, named as managing director Bernard Plymin, chairman William Harrison and the high-profile businessman John Elliot, allowed the company to incur further debts through trading while the company was insolvent.

“The breaches of law… are sufficiently serious to seek orders against the defendants for both compensation and civil penalties,” explained Knott.

The accuseddeny any breach of the Corporations Law and have vowed to defend their roles in court.