A Queensland printer has called in Today Tonight and A Current Affair in frustration over a $161,000 debt.
BB Print took supplier Grafika Links to court last year for breach of contract. The judge found in favour of BB Print and ordered Grafika Links to pay $161,000 plus costs.
According to the court documents, the Mackay printer claimed Grafika Links supplied it with a "defective" CTP unit – and then replaced it with another defective machine.
Canberra-based Grafika Links was liquidated on 27 April 2012, one month after the court judgement.
According to the most recent liquidators report, from 14 June 2013, Grafika Links collapsed with debts of $435,000 to trade creditors and $21,000 to the Australian Taxation Office.
Liquidator Frank Pilato of RSM Bird Cameron Partners forecast a return of 8.9 cents in the dollar for the creditors, all of which were unsecured. The liquidation is expected to conclude by late 2013.
Grafika Links' director, Michael Malone, now runs another supply business out of Canberra, Onyx Solutions. According to ASIC records, Onyx was registered on 30 November 2011.
Pilato's report said: "Onyx Solutions Pty Ltd took over the lease of the company's trading premises prior to my appointment and conducts a business similar to what the company provided prior to ceasing trading.
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"Prima facie the company's business was transferred to Onyx Solutions Pty Ltd for no consideration. My investigations into this matter are still continuing."
Pilato said he had authorised several transactions between Onyx and Grafika Links.
He accepted a $10,000 settlement from Onyx for a debt of $25,000 it owed Grafika Links for stock.
He also authorised Onyx's acquisition of Grafika Links' two vehicles for the auction valuation of $19,000 and Grafika Links' plant and equipment for the auction valuation of $5,560.
Malone told ProPrint that the 2012 court judgement was unfair and that he disputed many of the judge's findings.
He said there was nothing to be gained from BB Print asking Today Tonight and A Current Affair to investigate his business dealings.
"I think we've always acted honourably. We've never shirked our responsibilities. If they had an issue, we always attended to it straight away," he said.
"We've got a good reputation in the industry for supporting our customers and products. It's unfortunate how this has gone. Nobody is going to win out of this."
BB Print partner Gary Bye told ProPrint he approached Today Tonight and A Current Affair because he wanted Malone to be held accountable for the debts.
He said he was still waiting to hear from Seven Network and Nine Network about whether they would pursue the story.
[LinkedIn: Should the industry stop operating on credit?]
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