Business

Company collapse: Boss goes to Vegas, staff lose thousands

EX-STAFF of a prominent Mooloolaba restaurant will only receive about 13 cents for every dollar of superannuation they're owed by former boss Todd Young.

Mr Young hit Las Vegas with his partner just days after winding up Todd Young Investments Pty Ltd on December 29, 2015.

His company operated Bella Venezia restaurant at Mooloolaba through a trust.

Bella Venezia Group Pty Ltd was registered on October 8, 2015 by Kristine Ruth, and is today business name holder of Bella Venezia. Facebook posts show the restaurant, Bella Venezia Restaurant and Bar, is open for business.

At the time of its liquidation Mr Young's company owed more than $738,000 to unsecured creditors.

Liquidator Travis Pullen of TJP Advisory said the Australian Taxation Office lodged a proof of debt claim with him for $167,000 in unpaid staff superannuation on behalf of about 120 staff.

QUESTIONS: Todd Young has left many ex-Bella Venezia staff out of pocket.
QUESTIONS: Todd Young has left many ex-Bella Venezia staff out of pocket. Brett Wortman

After costs of the liquidation Mr Pullen's letter advised former staff they would receive a small dividend to be paid for outstanding wages and super, between 10-15 cents in every dollar owed.

Mr Pullen told the Daily the payment would be about 13 cents in the dollar, equating to about $22,000 of the $167,000 owed.

One former staffer owed more than $3500 in superannuation said he was disappointed he had lost some of his entitlement.

He said he couldn't understand how Mr Young was not in jail for his actions.

"(It) just sucks he (Mr Young) got away with it," the ex-staffer said.

Mr Pullen confirmed Mr Young declared himself bankrupt on May 6 last year, effectively quashing any hope of funds being available in an insolvent trading legal action "and therefore any legal action was no longer viable", despite evidence indicating insolvent trading may have occurred.

"My preliminary investigations revealed that the director may have allowed the company to trade whilst insolvent," Mr Pullen said.

"However, on 6 May, 2016 Mr Young declared himself bankrupt.

"At this point, I discontinued my insolvent trading investigations as I did not consider that incurring any further costs in this regard would result in any return to creditors, as the director would be unlikely to have the ability to meet any eventual judgment made against him, especially when the high costs of commencing an insolvent trading action are taken into account."

Bodybuilder businessman Todd Young went to Las Vegas after his business collapsed.
Bodybuilder businessman Todd Young went to Las Vegas after his business collapsed.

He said his report was then provided to Australian Securities and Investments Commission which advised it would not take further action.

Mr Pullen said it was up to ex-staff and other creditors to explore legal options if they wished to take further action.

Staff will have to lodge a form with the Australian Taxation Office to claim their payment once the dividend has been paid by the liquidator on February 21.

The $167,000 claim lodged by the ATO includes the $125,000 original debt plus extra interest and penalties.

Mr Pullen said he understood the 13 cents per dollar to be paid would go to the staff owed money and he understood Mr Young's declaration of bankruptcy would rule him unable to manage a corporation/company for at least three years, but any further ban would be up to ASIC to pursue.

Affected staff and creditors have only today left to prove their claim or debt, before the final dividend is declared on February 21.

Mr Young could not be contacted for comment.

Employees or creditors can call the liquidator on 1300 SOLVENT.

Topics:  bankrupt business creditors hospitality liquidation mooloolaba property staff entitlements



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