SUPREME COURT ORDERS OCTAVIAR GROUP TO WIND UP
Written on the 23 June 2017 by David Simmons
THE Queensland Supreme Court has ordered the Octaviar Group of companies (formerly known as MFS Group) to be wound up immediately.
The companies include Octaviar IHH Pty Ltd, Octaviar Investment Holdings (No 3) Pty Ltd, Erskine House Developments Pty Ltd, and Sunleisure Pty Ltd.
The Supreme Court has appointed Andrew Fielding and Helen Newman of BDO Australia as joint liquidators to wind up the companies.
ASIC sought the outcome following concerns the companies were contravening the Corporations Act because they did not have at least one director.
The former director of the companies, David Anderson, was disqualified from managing a corporation for 25 years by the Supreme Court of Queensland in late May of this year.
The Supreme Court ruled it was in the public interest for the companies to be placed into liquidation and wound up because without a director they were in a state of 'constitutional paralysis', also because of ASIC's concerns regarding the conduct of Anderson and his connection to the companies' assets.
The financial services, travel and leisure-based Octaviar Group, previously a publicly listed company based on the Gold Coast, collapsed in 2008 owing $2.5 billion.
As a result of the collapse, Anderson plead guilty and was convicted in New Zealand of two charges in connection with companies in the Octaviar Group.
In 2009 Anderson and other company directors were respondents to civil penalty proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland commenced by ASIC.
In May 2016, the Court determined the officers and the funds manager of Octaviar acted dishonestly in their roles.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court found that Anderson and other directors of Octaviar Group companies, Craig White, Michael Christodolou, Guy Hutchings, and Marilyn Watts, misappropriated $147.5 million of funds held in a managed investment called the Premium Income Fund and used the money to pay debts owed by other related entities in the Octaviar Group.Justice Douglas said that legal requirements were "flagrantly ignored" and that the penalties should reflect the complete disregard the defendants had to their duties under the Corporations Act.
"The insouciant attitude of the defendants to this misuse of money intended to be used for PIF's investors beggars belief," said Justice Douglas.
Author: David Simmons