Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading in Tasmania has issued a public warning about a collapsed Tasmanian homewares business that is said to have short-changed dozens of customers before sliding into liquidation.
SmartCompany understands a collection agency has also been appointed to attempt to recover more than $131,691.69 in insolvent trading claims against the director of Forest Creek Investments TAS, Tammy Moore.
Forest Creek Investments traded as MAB Interiors in Kingston, Tasmania, but Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading director Mark Cocker said in a public warning notice in June the business has now closed.
Renee Sarah Di Carlo and John Kukulovski of Jirsch Sutherland were appointed liquidators of Forest Creek Investments TAS on June 19 and according to a notice lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, a meeting of creditors was scheduled to take place in Melbourne on July 7.
But Jarrod Sierocki, managing director of insolvency consultancy Insolvency Guardian, which is also involved in the liquidation, told SmartCompany no company accounts or records have been handed over to the liquidators.
Sierocki alleges Moore was aware the company was “in trouble” and chose to sell the company’s assets to “defeat creditors”.
He says in situations where a company director does not cooperate with the liquidator, there is a “presumption of insolvency” almost immediately.
“It’s also an offence under the Corporations Act, so ASIC would normally get involved,” he says.
Sierocki says it is difficult to estimate the size of MAB Interiors’ debts as without the company’s books and records, the liquidators are unable to determine how many unsecured creditors there are.
In a public warning about Moore and her associate David Medwin, Cocker urged any consumers who had paid money to MAB Interiors since September 2013 to contact Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.
Cocker said his office has received “a large number of complaints” from consumers who had placed orders and paid up to a 50% for household furnishings from MAB Interiors, but had either not received the goods in the time promised, had received items that were not consistent with their order, or had not received goods at all.
Cocker said his office has attempted to contact the owners of the business “who have failed to provide any information and have failed to cooperate in any way about the closure of their business, the orders and money taken”.
SmartCompany attempted to contact MAB Interiors but calls to the phone number listed on the business’ website went unanswered. Tammy Moore could not be contacted.
Jirsch Sutherland was also contacted but no response was received prior to publication.