ASIC obtains orders to wind up investment and technology companies


The Supreme Court of Queensland in Brisbane announced that has appointed Mr Michael Hill and Mr William Harris, of McGrathNicol, as joint and several liquidators of Gognos Holdings Ltd (Gognos) and Dynamic Agri Tech Ltd (DAT) (companies). The court has ordered that the liquidators’ appointment be stayed until 10 am on Friday, 29 September 2017, in order that the companies’ rights of appeal be preserved.

After a trial in the Supreme Court of Queensland, the court found that both Gognos and DAT had committed, and were continuing to commit, numerous contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act).

The past and continuing contraventions include a failure by the companies to lodge audited reports with ASIC, a failure to report to members annually, a failure to hold Annual General Meetings and a failure to keep and produce accounting records. The court stated that the companies have contravened ‘important provisions, aimed at ensuring the affairs of companies are appropriately regulated for the protection of shareholders and the public.’

The court also found that misleading representations were made to investors in Gognos by Mr Manasseh Showa Manasseh (also known as Maurice Showa Manasseh).

The court concluded that it was in the public interest for the affairs of the companies to be placed into liquidation and be wound up because there is a well-founded and justified lack of confidence in the conduct and management of the companies’ affairs which gives rise to a risk to the public that warrants protection, as well as to prevent and condemn the repeated and continuing breaches of the Act. The court stated:

It is inappropriate that the [companies] be allowed to continue on the basis of what could be put no higher than an ‘unknowable’ prospect of potential commercial success … and where those now presenting as the ‘new management’ are not ‘new’ at all, but have long-term associations with the companies and the principal offender in terms of the misleading conduct of the past, Mr Manasseh, who remains in the shadows of these companies.

The complete announcement can be seen here.

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