Old mates, tax and Texans

Gavin Morton.

There’s always potential for things to go a tad awry when your appointor’s an old mate and a tad awry is one way to describe how the liquidation of Screaming Eagle Pty Ltd’s panned out for Gavin Morton.

Queensland-based Morton accepted an appointment as liquidator of the company in late 2016 from Screaming Eagle’s then director, Stuart Alan Dreves of Seaforth in Sydney.

As Morton correctly disclosed in his DIRRI, tax specialist Dreves had been a fellow partner with Morton at PKF in Brisbane between the memorable years of 2007 to 2009.

Morton was subsequently appointed liquidator at the first meeting of Screaming Eagle Pty Ltd on October 28, 2016, which was chaired by old mate Dreves and otherwise unattended.

Morton told iNO yesterday that he had been aware the company had a substantial tax debt but after being refused funding to pursue it, wound the company up in 2017 still owed more than $25,000 for his fees.

Fast forward to late 2019 when a newly incorporated company called New Screaming Eagle Co Pty Ltd, in its capacity as trustee for the Screaming Eagle Family Trust, applied in the Supreme Court of Queensland for orders reinstating Screaming Eagle Pty Ltd and its partner entity Screaming Eagle Co Pty Ltd.

Among the other orders obtained were that Hall Chadwick’s Brent Kijurina and Glenn Shannon by appointed liquidators and that the newly reinstated Screaming Eagle Pty Ltd pay the Commissioner of Taxation $5.577 million by November 1, 2019.

What’s interesting is that the New Screaming Eagle Co Pty Ltd is intimately connected with Elton Matthew Hyder the fourth, one of we imagine very few Texans residing in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill and the director of Screaming Eagle Pty Ltd prior to his being replaced by Dreves on May 27, 2016.

Neither Dreves, Hyder or Kijurina replied to iNO’s enquiries by our deadline but it makes for an interesting case. 

How for instance did Hyder’s new Co get standing to make the application to reinstate? Might he be a person aggrieved by the deregistration? Might there be related proceedings on foot? Might new Co be the replacement corporate trustee for a family trust?

In his report last month Kijurina told creditors he intends to publicly examine Morton’s old mate and Hyder but we don’t know where that funding is coming from given nearly all the money Screaming Eagle had access to was siphoned out of a solicitor’s trust account to discharge the liability owing to the Commissioner.

As it stands the only remaining creditor identified in Kijurina’s January 21,2020 report is Morton. 

At least he can take comfort from the fact that his successors are confident the liquidation will return between 51c and 100c. Support INO’s continued chronicling of the insolvency sector.

1 Comment on "Old mates, tax and Texans"

  1. He didn’t receive funding to recover a substantial debt? There’s no shortage of litigation funders that would have taken it on.

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