UPDATE: $17K down the drain as company goes bust
UPDATE October 6:
LISA McDade of Domestic Bliss Solutions has virtually given up on ever seeing the $17,000 she is owed by the former owners of LBS Accountants, Talos Accounting Group.
Almost a month on from our previous story, she said the last contact she had from Talos was from Bob Hughes, who told her not to bother calling him.
"I guess it's one of those things you chalk up to experience," she said.
"I know I am on the list of creditors to get paid, but it's obvious that there is no money, so I'm not holding my breath."
LISA McDade will fight to wrest the $17,000 she is owed from failed accounting firm Talos Accounting Group.
The single working mum and owner of Gladstone cleaning firm Domestic Bliss Total Solutions is just one of the creditors likely to miss out on being paid following the liquidation of Talos Accounting Group, the company that owned LBS Accountants until recently.
Ms McDade has been the cleaner at LBS long before the company was bought by Talos in 2013. But she says the payment problems only started after the business was sold.
"I wasn't getting paid and it was only about five or six months ago I realised that things weren't good, and I started to put pressure on Talos to be paid," she said.
"I am in a difficult position because not only am I the cleaner - LBS is my accountant - so it was a bit embarrassing asking for the money I was owed."
She said she was fobbed off by the company time and time again with a variety of stories; right up to the time of the liquidation on August 11.
"When I first started hassling them, Bob Hughes, who was my manager, told me it would be all sorted soon after the end of the financial year. That day came and went and there was no sign of any money."
Eighteen months ago it was Milan Versic that sold LBS to Talos; leaving some funds in the business and retaining ownership of the Auckland St building.
But he too has lost out - not only with the remainder of the purchase price, but also in lost rent, although he didn't say how much.
Mr Versic continued to work for the company after selling the business to a company that appears to have ties with a former bankrupt New Zealand businessman involved in one of that country's major financial collapses.
After Talos started missing payments for buying the business, Mr Versic and his partner stopped working for them.
"Then we did more research and lo and behold Mark Ryan (the Talos representative they dealt with) is Mark Bryers," Mr Versic said. "He was the head honcho; the man we would report to."
Mark Bryers was the co-founder of New Zealand's 2008 failed Blue Chip property investment scheme that left more than 2000 investors with losses of more than $310 million at the time.
Mr Bryers' bankruptcy has been lifted but he is still banned from managing or directing a company for seven years.
"The plans were to grow to 100 firms Australia-wide and float it on the stock exchange," Mr Versic said.
"We met him a few times in Gladstone and he was in charge of the direction the firm was going."
On August 11 they were going to evict the Talos Group from the office but the company had already left.
He said he was still owed one-third of the sale price of the business.
Talos Group's liquidator, BRI Ferrier manager Alan Tang, said creditors like Mr Versic who had debts from before August 11 would not see a return; everything the company has will go to the banks.
"The director, Stephen Lacy, has provided a number of personal guarantees and he will go bankrupt in the near future. He has put family home on the line," he said.
"Creditors are going to have to write off their debts and move on."