By Alex Turner-Cohen
The employees of a bankrupt company owing millions revealed their desperate actions before it collapsed.
The staff of an owing-millions plumbing firm revealed their desperate actions in the months before the company collapsed.
According to News.com.au, C & S Plumbing Pty Ltd was liquidated earlier this month.
Simon Nelson, of BPS Recovery and Reconstruction in Victoria, has been the liquidator since 2015 for this company.
Documents submitted to the regulator by the liquidator show that the company accumulated debts totaling $12,2 million, and it had over 100 creditors. The liquidator has scrutinized a number decisions made by Shane Arnold in the last four months of the company’s existence, which included paying him $101,000. News.com.au could not reach Mr Arnold to comment.
ASIC documents show that all 70 workers of the Victorian Plumbing firm were fired on the spot, and unpaid entitlements totaled 1.9 million dollars.
Ryan* who has worked at C & S Plumbing over a period of time, claims he is owed around $10,000 in superannuation and his last week’s pay.
“You’d need to be blind to not see the end coming” (of the company), he added.
C & S Plumbing was clearly struggling in the last year of its existence.
Fuel cards (for cars owned by companies) are rarely used due to unpaid fuel bills.
We have had to reimburse ourselves for some of the money we paid.
The accounts were on hold so the guys had to buy materials. “At first people were willing to assist.”
In the end however, there were doubts about whether or not they would receive a refund.
Ryan stated that in the past 12 weeks there have been between 10 and 15 resignations.
C & S Plumbing had 70 workers when it went into liquidation. This was down from its peak of 100 employees.
Johnathan is another former employee who claims that the company owes him thousands of dollars for unpaid wages.
News.com.au reported that he had been working at a construction site when his company failed, without being paid.
We are yet to receive our weekly wage and superannuation.
When Ryan and the other employees discovered the extent of allegations made against their boss, before C & S Plumbing was liquidated, they became furious.
The frustration for me and 99 percent of my co-workers is that they lost their jobs immediately, were forced to look for new employment, and are now watching our former boss live his life.
“We may not have worked for more than a few weeks, and so can’t perform these tasks.”
In the liquidator’s statutory reports, which were filed with ASIC, and then made public, it is alleged that, in the months leading up to C & S Plumbing’s collapse, Shane Arnold increased his salary, sold assets of the company to a different firm owned by a member of the family, and used the plumbing business already established to complete the job.
The report states that creditors can “attempt recovery” by going after Mr Arnold directly, claiming uncommercial deals.
The report states that Mr Arnold began receiving “significantly increased wages” in late November and continued until four months after the appointment of the liquidator.
The outstanding balances of annual leave and RDO were cashed in.
The report said that Mr Arnold received about $101,000 in pay during this time.
These payments appear to be transactions that are voidable and recoverable through liquidation.
C & S workers also worked for Arnold Land Development 261 hours. Director of the company is Mr Arnold’s family member, but no criminal charges have been brought.
C & S Plumbing did not receive payment of the $456,665 worth of work that was done at this subdivision. This includes both time worked and material used.
The liquidator’s office has not yet received any response from the company to the request for reimbursement.
The liquidator also considered that a sale of equipment and plant to Arnold Land Development was voidable, meaning it had been sold at a lower price than was appropriate in the given circumstances and could be confiscated.
Arnold intends to declare bankruptcy, according to a report filed at the regulatory body.
News.com.au revealed earlier in the year that C & S Plumbing was not alone. Two other large Victorian plumbers were also liquidated. CDC Plumbing and Drainage went out of business in February owing creditors $7 million, and Richstone Group with a total debt amounting to $22 millions liquidated its assets in June.
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