Friday, 23 December 2011

Ed Hardy boss's bankruptcy boo boo

Gary Berman with Tara Reid.
Photo: Cameron Laird
BAD fashion transcends borders, which is why SiN can report on the bankrupting of one-time Melbourne clothing entrepreneur Gary Michael Berman.

Berman is the man who brought the Ed Hardy clothing brand to Australia. 

While this was not a crime, Federal Magistrate Daniel O’Dwyer recently pointed out that making an incorrect entry in a debtor's petition potentially is. 

“The details provided in a Debtor’s Petition are required to be accurate,” and “.…. should the requisite declaration that the details are correct made in support of the application prove to be false there is the potential of a criminal sanction of imprisonment for 12 months,” O”Dwyer wrote in his December 15, 2011 judgement.

O'Dwyer was commenting on the response Berman made to question 33 of his debtor's petition, which the former Ernst & Young accountant filed on May 17, 2011, almost 12 months after his stable of Ed Hardy outlets closed its doors. Question 33 requires a debtor to list transfers of assets and gifts made in the preceding five years.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Eaton bankrupt but not beaten

Lawyer Jim Johnson after
the Eaton examination
Photo: SiN Images
GILES Woodgate’s protracted dealings with bankrupt electrician Stuart Alexander Eaton continue to throw up intriguing developments.

At a recent examination in the Federal Magistrates Court Woodgate's legal team alleged that Eaton “has access to a stream of revenues that the bankrupt has not disclosed to the trustee”.

Not perhaps the most startling allegation a trustee has ever made but what’s not quite as common is the trustee hauling the bankrupt’s offspring into a court in a bid to verify his suspicions.

To that end Eaton’s adult son Mitchell Eaton spent much of the day explaining how he was made director of Eaton Electrical Group (EEG), a company through which much of the business’s revenues and profits pass.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Hillsong stung by Affinity fallout

Bankrupt ex-Affinity director
Daniel Ku. Photo: SiN Images.

THERE’S plenty of forgiveness in the Castle Hill chapter of the Hillsong church.

Three years after dozens of parishioners lost almost $5 million in bad property investments spruiked by two church members, SiN understands the pair still attend services.

Forgetting however, is not as easy. Former church member Dr Leslie Indrasith lost $400,000 investing in the high-yield property investments promoted by his fellow church goers, Daniel Kaming Ku, 40, Adrian Ming-Chi Chen, 36 and Darren Garwai Chek, 35.

The three men were founders and directors of Affinity Capital Pty Ltd, a property investment business that grew out of their work as mortgage brokers.

They initially funded Affinity through a mixture of loans from financial institutions, family members and friends.

But after the group collapsed in late 2008 owing almost $15 million to unsecured creditors, extensive investigations by liquidator Gavin Moss found no compelling evidence of fraud or Corporations Law breaches.

What Moss did find was a litany of the failings so prevalent across the property development sector.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Palm Beach toddler won't keep Wily awake

Barrister Bridie Nolan.
Photo: SiN Images
ANDREW Wily’s bid to sell the Palm Beach home of accused fraudster and bankrupt Tony Morris has crept a little closer to realisation after lawyers representing Wily and Morris’s wife Vanessa Jackson found common ground over the nap times of a two year old.

Barrister Bridie Nolan, acting for Ms Jackson, told Federal Magistrate Rolf Driver that her client would prefer that inspections of the property by potential purchasers take place between 10.00am and midday, so as to avoid disturbing the slumberings of the Morris’s son.

In response, Sally Nash who is acting for Wily in his capacity as Tony Morris’s bankruptcy trustee told the court the estate agent handling the sale was adamant that between midday and was the ideal time.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

NAB on the hook for $58 million

Chris Hill and Alan Hayes from PPB Advisory are nominally in charge of HP Industries (Hollywood Plastics) after the steel and plastic packaging group’s directors appointed the pair voluntary administrators last Tuesday.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Delaney happy to be summoned for $480 an hour

Giles Woodgate outside
the Federal Magistrates Court
Photo: SiN Images
SPECIALISTS in Family Law are no strangers to proceedings involving bankrupt clients, which is one reason why Michael Delany of Delany Lawyers spent much of the morning racking up his $480 per hour fee sitting in a witness box in the Federal Magistrate’s Court.

Delaney was complying with a summons issued by Giles Woodgate, trustee of the bankrupt estate of Stuart Alexander Eaton.

Woodgate is running a public examination into the bankrupt's affairs after his interest was piqued by details of Eaton's living arrangements, which include sharing a $2200 per week Vaucluse rental with his four children.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Trustee’s grab for school fees foiled

The young Fung's school fees
have eluded their Mother's trustee
Nick Malanos.
Photo: Worrells. 
NICK Malanos’ attempts to secure $200,000 for the creditors of bankrupt financial advisor Tina Poh-Chooi Fung have been dashed by Federal Court Justice Dennis Cowdrey (See Justice Cowdrey's judgement).

In a decision handed down last week Justice Cowdrey upheld an appeal launched by the bankrupt’s ex-husband, Stephen James Oliver.

Mr Oliver was appealing Federal Magistrate Rolf Driver's January 2011 judgement which found that $200,000 Ms Fung contributed to a fund for the education of the couple’s three children vested with the Worrells’ bankruptcy trustee at the time of her bankruptcy.