Investigations continue into Arabella's trading and assets
The first creditor’s meeting was conducted this week following Arabella’s Restaurant being put into voluntary administration on 30 January this year.
During the meeting, an update on the liquidation process was provided to creditors and the liquidator’s remuneration was approved by creditors present for the meeting.
Appointed liquidator and partner at SM Solvency Accountants, Brendan Nixon, assumed the role of chairman for meeting.
Minutes from the meeting note that the business owners, Troy and Sarah Holland, were not in attendance and had not provided a statement for the meeting.
However, it was noted a Report on Company Activities and Property was provided to the liquidator by the company director and a summary of that report would be made available to creditors three months from the date of liquidation.
Three creditors and an observer were present for the meeting that was held in Brisbane and syndicated via teleconference to a location in Port Douglas.
Mr Nixon updated creditors to inform them investigations are underway regarding rounded cash withdrawals made from the Arabella’s bank account for the process of determining if the company was trading while insolvent.
Under the Corporations Act, a company is considered insolvent if the company is unable to pay it’s debts when those debts are due or become payable.
If a new debt is incurred when a company is considered insolvent, the director of the company can become liable for those new debts personally and can face hefty fines or criminal charges for trading while insolvent.
Mr Nixon advised during the meeting that any parties with concerns or evidence about the company’s business assets should contact the liquidator's office and any alleged misconduct would be referred to the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Australian Tax Office.
It was passed unanimously during the meeting that the liquidator's remuneration is to be capped at $20,000 based on an hourly rate and paid monthly.
However, the liquidator reserves the right to apply for additional remuneration should the actual remuneration exceed this amount.
It was further approved that SM Solvency Accountants could claim $500 a month in disbursement fees to cover the liquidation operations and a further $500 at the end of the liquidation process for the ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy.
Common disbursements are stationery, photocopying and telephone costs where the ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy is a cost imposed by ASIC to recover its regulatory costs.
Further updates concerning the liquidation process mentioned during the meeting include:
- The landlord of the former restaurant’s site confirmed there were no books or records of assets at the premises. However, some books and records have been obtained by SM Solvency Accountants and are in the process of being reviewed.
- An independent evaluation of the company’s asset list advised it would not be commercial for the liquidator to authorise an auctioneer to re-locate and sell the company’s assets.
- Former employees are receiving assistance to gather entitlements from the Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme. The scheme provides government assistance to employees who are owed wages, leave, and other entitlements.
The full list of creditors will be updated on the liquidation in the next creditor’s report which is expected to be released in April 2019.
To date, My Italian Baby, also owned by Troy and Sarah Holland, is listed on the ASIC website as a registered company.
Creditors with concerns or queries can contact SM Solvency Accountants by phone on 1300 434 165 or via email at enquiriessmsolvency.comau.
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