Bux wind-up bid to be heard
A bid to wind up a mobile phonebased money transfer business which has attracted $100 million in investments — along with allegations of money laundering and extortion — will be allowed to continue, a Federal Court judge has ruled.
Bux Global sold itself to investors with promises to “improve the financial wellbeing of the many” but a few of those investors are now worried the millions of dollars they pumped into the firm may never be seen again.
The investors include former world champion boxer Danny Green and ex-Test cricketer Greg Matthews but another — Queensland businessman Peter Hooke — is now trying to have the company wound up.
The application comes after Mr Hooke made an initial cash investment of more than $1.5 million to Bux after meeting chief spruiker Michael van Rens, previously a major figure in the Firepower fuel pill fraud that robbed many West Australians of their life savings.
The investment led Mr Hooke to have a shareholding in an entity in Hong Kong, which was then transferred to a shareholding in Australia — without his agreement or knowledge.
But despite his not knowing he was a Bux shareholder, he was on the list — which he is now arguing entitles him to have the company wound up in a bid to recoup his money.
In the Federal Court in Perth yesterday, lawyers for Bux argued that while Mr Hooke might appear on a share register, he was not a “contributory” to the company, and as such had no right to make the wind-up application.
But after hearing more than two hours of argument — including from the Bux side citing law dating back more than 150 years — Judge Craig Colvin said Mr Hooke did have an arguable case, and that it should be argued at a hearing scheduled for later this year.
In his ruling, Judge Colvin also agreed that the circuitous route which Mr Hooke came to have Bux shares was “unusual”.
Darren Jackson, representing Mr Hooke, said the Bux claim was not just unusual, it was unlawful.
“They should not be permitted to rely on their own unlawful conduct to prevent a liquidator from coming in and sorting it out,” Mr Jackson said.
The full Federal Court hearing is scheduled for July.