Forum Group creditors demand $ 580 million

Bill Papas

Credit: The Forum Group

Directors appointed to the struggling Forum Group have revealed a long list of at least 112 creditors who together claim the company owes more than $ 580 million.

The Forum saga began to unfold in May following Westpac’s discovery of a significant potential fraud of over $ 250 million involving allegations of customer invoices being falsified to obtain bank loans.

Forum Group and Forum Finance are just a few of the many companies owned by Basile Papadimitriou – aka Bill Papas – who allegedly fled to Greece following the Westpac investigation and subsequent civil lawsuits.

Dads has since been Point in his Thessaloniki apartment in Greece and finally broke his silence after failing to meet several legal deadlines.

He apologized, telling Judge Michael Lee, through a statement to his lawyer and his attorney representing him in court, that he was suffering from COVID-19, panic attacks and severe anxiety.

In one instance, Papas said he intended to ‘come back to Australia to clear his name’, but not before revealing he was broke and needed his trip back to Greece and all expenses. covered, if he wanted to return to the country.

In a report filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the full list of creditors includes HP Financial Services, claiming $ 22.4 million; Commonwealth Bank, claiming $ 9.7 million; Judo Bank, claiming $ 7.07 million; and Konica Minolta, claiming $ 806,930.

Ingram Micro is also on the list, claiming $ 293,279; Dynamic Supplies, claiming $ 282,000; Capital Finance Australia, claiming $ 364,231; Octet Finance, claiming $ 1.83 million; Alloys International, claiming two amounts of $ 113,213 and $ 178,236; Synnex Australia, claiming $ 137,353; Westlawn Finance, claiming $ 778,420; Cloudwerx, claiming $ 254,318; and Macquarie Leasing, claiming $ 220,524.

Forum Group also listed Forum Finance on the list of creditors, claiming $ 16.3 million; Forum Group Financial Services, claiming $ 75.89 million; Forum Enviro Aus, claiming $ 78.1 million and Forum Enviro Pty Ltd, claiming $ 21.06 million.

This is in addition to Westpac’s initial $ 258 million claim, the $ 98.9 million claim by Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui and French bank Societe Generale, which estimates exposure at $ 9 million.

Thorn Group, a publicly traded company that owns Radio Rentals, also revealed to shareholders that it is investigating its transactions following potential exposure to Forum Group and Forum Finance to the tune of $ 2.2 million related to equipment financing loans financed between 2013 and 2019.

Westpac and the Federal Court appointed Jason Ireland and Jason Preston of McGrathNicol as liquidators of Forum Finance on July 9 to investigate its assets and liabilities.

Frozen orders were also secured, with Westpac expanding the orders to Papas’ overseas assets as well as its Forum Finance business partner, Vincenzo Tesoriero.

Papas named Mackay Goodwin’s Domenico Calabretta, Thyge Trafford-Jones and Grahame Ward to the Forum Group on the same day.

So far, Westpac has claimed to have discovered more than 100 allegedly fraudulent transactions in two years, transferring millions into entities and assets owned by Papas and Tesoriero.

On August 3, Papas filed documents detailing his belongings, including three jet skis and a trailer valued at $ 15,000 each; $ 206,000 in his NAB account and his multi-million dollar NSW Central Coast residence.

Besides the Forum Group of Companies, Papas also owns another entity called Mazcon Investments, which owns several assets overseas, but Papas has revealed that he sold his shares in March, a claim which Westpac attorneys threw at. serious doubts, given its current location.

It is understood that Forum Group of Companies is the parent company of a series of entities, including Forum Group; Forum fleet; Financial services of the Forum group; Aramia Holdings; Autonomous energy; Direct Forum; Environment Forum; Imagetec Financial Services; Imagetec solutions; Intrashield investment group; Iugis waste solutions; OneSource Australia; Orca environmental solutions; Orca Enviro Systems; Intelligent fleet management; Spartan consultation group; and Eros Management.

With the consent of Westpac, NAB and Octet, Mackay Goodwin sold the company’s managed IT services component to Sydney-based IT and voice service provider Our Kloud, which is owned by Papas cousin Eric Constantinidis – a separate company that is not otherwise related or associated with Forum Group.

The sale included 72 employees, ensuring that employees can retain their rights to the tune of $ 1.6 million. Our Kloud bought only the right to continue to serve customers, as well as the goodwill of the company. No physical assets of the company were sold in connection with the $ 434,332 transaction.

Following the July 21 sale, Mackay Goodwin recommended McGrath Nicol as a replacement director as the company was chosen by Westpac, which has the largest exposure in the group.

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Tags Forum Group

Jennifer C. Burleigh

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