Bistro 3 owes $2.5 mil­lion

Cred­i­tors un­likely to see a cent

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - ANGELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

BISTRO 3 went bust ow­ing a whop­ping $2.5 mil­lion - the vast ma­jor­ity to un­se­cured cred­i­tors in­clud­ing sup­pli­ers who are un­likely to ever see a cent of it.

Money owed in­cludes $185,386 to se­cured cred­i­tors such as banks and $184,872 for pri­or­ity un­se­cured cred­i­tors in­clud­ing un­paid su­per­an­nu­a­tion, while un­se­cured cred­i­tors in­clud­ing sup­pli­ers and the ATO are owed a stag­ger­ing $2,253,141.

This fig­ure is expected to in­crease once all cred­i­tors make a claim.

Liq­uida­tors have re­ferred di­rec­tor Henry Pre­ston to the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion for al­leged in­sol­vent trad­ing.

The res­tau­rant of­fi­cially closed its doors on May 20 when Pre­ston put the com­pany into vol­un­tary ad­min­is­tra­tion and in the hands of ad­min­is­tra­tors Hall Chad­wick, which is now the liq­uida­tor.

In the ad­min­is­tra­tor’s re­port to cred­i­tors, it was re­vealed the com­pany had been trad­ing at a loss and had not paid com­pul­sory su­per­an­nu­a­tion for the past two fi­nan­cial years and owed a sig­nif­i­cant amount to the Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice, which moved to re­claim its debt.

Bistro 3 has a tax debt of $143,802.16 and the ATO be­gan the re­cov­ery process by is­su­ing a di­rec­tor’s penalty notice, which holds Mr Pre­ston per­son­ally li­able for the amount owed.

The notice al­lowed Mr Pre­ston 21 days to pay the money in full or go into vol­un­tary ad­min­is­tra­tion or liq­ui­da­tion, which is what he elected to do.

The Mel­bourne-based, Fer­rari-driv­ing high flyer claims to have no as­sets or money to pay back his debts.

Liq­uida­tor David Ross said they are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­sol­vent trad­ing.

“We’ve re­ported to ASIC (Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion) and it’s still pro­ceed­ing,” he said.

“We’ve con­ducted our own in­ves­ti­ga­tions and we will is­sue de­mands for in­sol­vent trad­ing and are not aware of any de­fences of the di­rec­tor.

“As in­di­cated in the re­port the di­rec­tor be­lieves he does have de­fences and any ac­tion would be de­fended against in­sol­vent trad­ing and any ac­tion would likely re­quire fund­ing from cred­i­tors.”

The re­port sug­gests that all cred­i­tors, se­cured or un­se­cured, will not re­ceive any money owed to them in the liq­ui­da­tion of the com­pany.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

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