Trade creditors of failed home automation group Leisuretech could be forced to pay back money to the administrator of the group following allegations of wrong doing by Leisuretech CEO Andrew Goldfinch. The company was placed into liquidation with debts of over $1.6 million dollars. The allegations claim Goldfinch deliberately paid out creditors with who he wanted to continue trading with under a new Company structure while not paying out others.
It is expected that the actions of Goldfinch and accountant Jonathan Ritchie, who runs accounting JR & Co Financial Solutions and 360 Financial Vision will be referred to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for investigation by Sydney based administrator Brian Allen, of Burton, Glenn and Allen.
|Leisuretech CEO Andrew Goldfinch|
In Australia this week, the CEO of Armour Group (AG) said that he had met with the administrators to discuss the issue of “preferential payments” to trade creditors in Australia ahead of AG. They are currently claiming an outstanding debt of over $1M dollars after Leisuretech lost a battle in the UK High Court over A Bus patents in Europe.
George Dexter said that he was in Australia to discuss issues with Mr Goldfinch and the administrators but “Mr Goldfinch was proving to be very evasive, which does not surprise me”.
“I believe that several issues relating to the administration of Leisuretech that are set to be referred to ASIC. Oddly there are only two creditors and both are organisations that were involved in Leisuretech’s UK patent claim. We are one of them. We have also discovered that trade creditors who Mr Goldfinch is continuing to trade with under his new company were paid out in full ahead of Leisuretech being placed into administration in March 2009.”
Administrator Brian Allen of Burton Glenn and Allen said today that several issues were now before the committee and that based on their decision. The commitee is made up of the two main creditors Armour Group of the UK and UK legal firm Allen & Ogilvy, who acted for Goldfinch in the UK battle to hang onto his A Bus patents. Several matters could be refered to ASIC.
Currently being investigated is:
The preferential payment of creditors
The transfer of ownership of properties prior to Leisuretech being placed into administration
The obtaining of a $2M overdraft from the National Australia Bank backed by securities after being placed into administration
The ownership of assets by Andrew Goldfinch, his wife and family
The role of NSW firm Lawler and Partners who provided a $2M valuation of Leisuretech for Goldfinch prior to the Company being placed into administration. At the time Leisuretech was earning over $500,000 a year from A Bus royalty payment.