PPB preparing to tread on Deloitte’s Plutus patch

Special Purpose Liquidator Steve Parbery

PPB Advisory’s Steve Parbery: consented to act as provisional liquidator of Plutus parent Synep.

Early next month a series of contested interlocutory applications will be heard that could see PPB Advisory’s Steve Parbery and Glenn Livingstone surf in on what until now has been Deloitte’s exclusive turf – the web of entities linked to the alleged $130 million Plutus Payroll PAYG fraud.

On Monday, the NSW Supreme Court heard that Synep Pty Limited – the company at the head of the Plutus group – was resisting efforts by the Commissioner of Taxation (CoT) to appoint a provisional liquidator, something the CoT has been working towards since July when it applied to have Synep wound up on the just and equitable ground.

The previous month Deloitte partners Eddie SenatoreTim Norman and Sal Algeri were appointed provisional liquidators of a series of Plutus group entities after Veritas Advisory’s David Iannuzzi and Vincent Pirina were persuaded to relinquish an appointment as voluntary administrators (VAs) of the Synep-controlled Plutus Payroll Australia Pty Limited (PPA). (See: Deloitte Scoops Plutus Provisional Appointments).

But unlike the myriad Plutus Group entities, the CoT it seems wants practitioners from a firm other than Deloitte to take on Synep, which has had its assets frozen and is also attempting to stave off the CoT’s efforts to utilise material contained in transcripts of telephone conversations recorded covertly by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

SiN was told that a relative of Synep director and shareholder  Jason “Jay” Onley had worked at Deloitte previously but a source close to the firm said they believed the individual had since left so if a potentially delicate conflict had existed it would seem to have been extinguished.

Onley, who is on bail after being charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth, is seeking to resist the appointment of Parbery and Livingstone by way of a stay on the winding up application  and if it is to succeed it will need to grow another fang given the court also heard on Monday that the CoT last week served on Synep a statutory demand with a view to having the company wound up in insolvency.

The matter will return to court on December 12, 2017.

About the Author

Peter Gosnell
Insolvency News Online illuminates the practice of insolvency Australia-wide, highlighting the triumphs and travails of the nation’s registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. INO is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation's highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia's most notorious instances of white-collar crime.

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