NSW Revenue moves to topple Jones Partners pair

Revenue NSW
Jones Partners principal Bruce Gleeson.
Revenue NSW
Jones Partners Daniel Soire.

Jones Partners duo Bruce Gleeson and Daniel Soire face being dumped as administrators of Dalma Form Specialist Pty Ltd (DFS) after Revenue NSW commenced proceedings in the wake of a controversial second meeting of DFS creditors on April 12.

In a circular to DFS creditors issued yesterday, Gleeson and Soire attached an originating process filed in the Federal Court on Monday by lawyers for the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (Chief Commissioner).

As an unsecured creditor Revenue NSW is claiming more than $11 million in unpaid payroll tax from DFS, part of a group of construction and labour hire entities that the Commonwealth Commissioner of Taxation (CoT) earlier this year alleged is part of a long running tax evasion scheme that may have enriched its architects by tens of millions of dollars, and in the process denied Commonwealth coffers up to $150 million in taxes.

Revenue NSW is seeking a declaration that it is a creditor in the administration of DFS in the amount of $11,265,310.55c; that Soire’s decision as meeting chair to reject Revenue NSW’s proof in part be reversed; that the Chief Commissioner have leave to commence the proceedings against the company; an order that the Deed of Company Arrangement (DoCA) approved by a majority of creditors be terminated and an order that the administration be ended.

The matter is set down for a first directions hearing next Wednesday but if the DoCA is not executed by the 15 day deadline which expires Monday then the company will automatically lapse into liquidation.

According to the Minutes of the reconvened second meeting of DFS creditors on April 12, Revenue NSW’s claim was admitted for voting purposes for $1.00.

By way of objection proxy holder Misty Andrews said: “Revenue NSW’s claim is based on an estimate and these particulars have been provided to the Administrators’ office whilst further investigations under anti-avoidance provisions are taking place.”

Andrews also noted that “these anti avoidance provisions are only applied in exceptionally rare circumstances and only where the Chief Commissioner is likely to be satisfied that it is warranted and necessary”.

Based on legal advice provided by the administrators’ lawyers Soire however wouldn’t change his position on Revenue NSW’s proof and despite he and Gleeson earlier recommending that DFS be wound up a majority of creditors in number and in value voted to adopt a controversial deed of company arrangement propounded by DFS director Jason Ivan Andrijic, 39 of Chatswood.

Andrijic told creditors he wanted to restore DFS to profitability, even though it had ceased trading prior to Jones and Soire’s appointment and its business appeared to have been transferred without consideration to Incline Hire Pty Ltd, another company to which Andrijic is sole shareholder and director appointed.

Since January the CoT has been attempting to persuade Jones and Soire to vacate the appointment in favour of Helm Advisory’s Stephen Hathway, who is being funded by the ATO in his capacity as liquidator of several of Dalma group entities including Admin Form Pty Ltd, which lodged a proof of debt for more than $2 million in the administration of DFS.

Based on information provided by Andrijic, Soire admitted the Admin Form proof for voting purposes for $50,000.

In the immediate aftermath of their appointment on December 27 last year the ATO contacted Gleeson and Soire to advise them that its “investigations suggest that the Company may be part of a group of over thirty (30) companies over the past fifteen (15) years that have allegedly operated in a way to defraud the ATO of $150 million in unpaid taxes”.

“This was not known to us prior to our appointment,” Jones and Soire said in an updated DIRRI.

“The ATO further alleges that Mr Igor Cikes (Mr Cikes) may be a party to the alleged fraud and the “controlling mind” of the Group.”

Gleeson also had to disclose that back in 2011 he’d accepted appointments as external administrator of three entities, two of which were owned and controlled by Rade Cikes and Rose Cikes. Rade Cikes is the father of Igor Cikes.

iNO makes no suggestion of wrongdoing in relation to the individuals identified by the ATO and the administrators.

Gleeson reported concerns he had to the ATO and ASIC at the time and neither authority chose to act.

The move this week by Revenue NSW however is likely to bring in the ATO as a supporting creditor when the matter comes before a judge on May 9.

We asked Gleeson and Soire – who’ve racked up $200,000 in fees on a non-trading administration – if they intend to defend the proceedings. No response was forthcoming as at time of publication.

Further reading:

Collision imminent: VAs and ATO heading for court

VAs and ATO at odds over alleged $150m fraud

Rival IPs bound for court over alleged $150m fraud

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