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ADVISORY CASE STUDIES
Engineering company victim of a fraudulent accountant
We came into contact with a married couple who were each directors of an engineering company that appeared on an ASIC list as being in Voluntary Administration. The couple told us they were surprised they had got into this situation as their business had been profitable for the past 20 years. The couple had not wanted to go into administration, but their accountant had encouraged them to do so. Their accountant handled all their dealings with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which was their only hostile creditor at the time of Voluntary Administration.
We advised the couple that if we were aware of their predicament earlier, we would have NOT advised them to go into Voluntary Administration. Instead, we would have sought an adjournment of proceedings with the ATO while we investigated the cause of the company’s problem.
ACTIONS TAKEN TO ASSIST
Through our recommendation of a trusted lawyer, the couple were able to overturn the appointment of the original administrators in court. The new administrators, and subsequent liquidators, charged far more reasonable fees and were of the viewpoint that were it not for the alleged misappropriation “this company would not be in liquidation”. The couple were able to come to an arrangement with the liquidator and have recommenced business operations, while the police investigation into the accountant continues.
Thankfully, our clients were resilient and used our advice effectively to wriggle out of a horrible situation of betrayal.
“ We originally spoke to Client Relations Manager Mandana Missaghi and Managing Director Susie Barnett from the SR Group on the phone, we were going through a horrific experience with our business due to fraud committed by our accountant. We were in voluntary administration and things were looking very bad for us. Their positivity and their attitude helped us hold it together and get through it. Their advice and professionalism gave us confidence and the tools to fight the whole process. We went to Sydney and met with the team twice, they arranged a lawyer for us and were with us every step of the way. Through every meeting with the administrators Tom and Susie were there with advice and support. While the administrators tried to wind us up they kept them at bay. Their advice was invaluable and know without them we would have lost everything. The end result wasn’t what we hoped but it could have been far worse. I feel confident that had we been with the SR Group earlier the result would have been even better. I have no hesitation in recommending the SR Group; their experience, advice, professionalism got us through the worst time in our life.”