Tuesday, 29 April 2014

CALDB slugs Topp with six month suspension

SYDNEY insolvency operator Alan Godfrey Topp has been benched temporarily after failing to lodge hundreds of statutory notices and other documents with the corporate regulator.

Following an application from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB) said it had ordered Topp's liquidator's registration be suspended for six months. According to the ASIC website, his status as an official liquidator is unaffected by the CALDB order.

In its November 2013 application, ASIC alleged that over a period of almost four years beginning in May 2009, Topp failed to lodge 321 documents, including 209 presentation of six monthly accounts, otherwise known as 524 forms. Of these 309 related to liquidations; the remaining 12 to administrations. 48 EX01 forms were also overdue along with 37 5011 or 1500 forms. The lodging lapses involved 61 companies.

ASIC notified Topp on April 4, 2013 that it had identified the compliance failures so it took just over 12 months for the process to reach the point where CALDB ordered the suspension.

CALDB, which heard the matter on April 7 this year, said Topp did not dispute the allegations, which were the subject of agreed consent orders between the parties. The panel also acknowledged that no dishonesty was involved and that Topp's plight had been exacerbated by insufficient resources and unspecified "personal issues".

Once his six month suspension is complete Topp will be restricted for a further six months to accepting appointments only as a joint liquidator.

As part of the agreed consent orders he is also required to pay ASIC's $2000 cost of the application as well as what promises to be hefty late lodgement penalty. Topp did not respond to a request for comment.

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See also: Insolvency veteran slapped with suspension

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Insolvency veteran slapped with suspension

Bill Hamilton
Photo: WJ Hamilton & Associates
BILL Hamilton, one of Australia's longest serving insolvency practitioners, has had his liquidator's registration suspended for six months following a hearing before the Companies Auditors & Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB).

Details of the suspension and future compliance requirements were published in the Commonwealth Gazette yesterday, more than five months after the CALDB hearing, which took place on November 5, 2013. 

Hamilton, who began practising in 1960, last week advised the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA) that the decision was imminent. 

In a statement ARITA said: "In accordance with clause 7.1(b)(i) of the ARITA Constitution, Mr Hamilton's ARITA membership has been automatically suspended for six months effective from 2 June 2014 following a decision by the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB)".

CALDB found that Hamilton did not adequately and properly perform his duties as a joint liquidator by entering into a deed of settlement and release with the directors of ERB and a director-related company to accept an amount which had not been properly assessed.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Millionaire bankrupt's dishoarderly affairs

The interior of Arcadia Road
Photo courtesy BPS Recovery
BPS Recovery's Max Prentice wants guardians to manage the assets of a bankrupt who filled his five properties with newspapers, textbooks and batteries.

The bankrupt, who SiN has chosen not to identify, is a former university lecturer with a degree in chemical engineering and an extensive property portfolio.

"In 40 years in practice I have never had such an asset-rich bankrupt," Prentice, trustee in bankruptcy and co-principal of BPS Recovery said.

"The bankrupt had unencumbered title to four properties in Glebe and one in Newtown."

The bankrupt's debts are estimated at around $180,000, while the value of his assets exceeds $2 million. Normally this would result in an annulment, but there's nothing normal about this technical insolvency. 

The man was declared bankrupt on April 10, 2012 after utilities suppliers petitioned the Federal Court over thousands of dollars in outstanding bills.

Prentice accepted the appointment in June 2012 and immediately slapped caveats on a large Victorian terrace in Arcadia Road, Glebe, two apartments in nearby Sheehy St, another in Charlton Way and an apartment in Chelmsford Street, Newtown. None of the properties were encumbered by mortgages but neither the title deeds nor the bankrupt could be located.