Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Liquidator denies procuring proxies

SYDNEY liquidator Pino Fiorentino has strenuously denied allegations he procured invalid employee proxies and voted them in support of a resolution to approve his fees. 

"I never procured anything,” the registered and official liquidator told Sydney Insolvency News (SiN) during a break in a hearing before the Federal Court last week.

“I made a mistake. I didn’t check the proxies. There’s no way I told the director, ‘fill out the proxies and sign them yourself’,” he said.

Fiorentino's comments came as the Federal Court heard his application for a judicial review of a hearing held before the Companies Auditors and Liquidators Disciplinary Board (CALDB) last February.

In late January and early February this year CALDB rejected several applications by Fiorentino for an adjournment of a hearing brought before CALDB by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which is seeking cancellation of Fiorentino’s liquidator’s registration.

The last adjournment application, made on February 2, proceeded without Fiorentino being present for the bulk of the hearing. Nor was he represented by legal counsel.

CALDB went on to refuse the adjournment application and on February 4 heard the ASIC application. Fiorentino is challenging CALDB’s refusal to grant the adjournment and the subsequent hearing of the ASIC application. At time of writing CALDB had not made its determinations and reasons public.

In an outline of Fiorentino’s Federal Court submissions obtained by SiN, the impact of the proceedings currently  before CALDB is described as “grave” because “ …. the orders sought by ASIC amount to no less than causing the permanent end to the career of the Applicant”. 

The ASIC application was formally brought before CALDB in 2013 following an investigation by the regulator into ERB International, which had owned the Ella Rouge Beauty salon chain.