Ferrari-driving businessman’s rich life before $13m collapse
A QUEENSLAND businessman who claimed his investment company was "solid as a rock" used it to lease Mercedes-Benz vehicles and rent thousands of dollars worth of televisions and furniture for personal use before it collapsed last month.
Gordon Smith, a Sunshine Coast business magnate, promised to leave a "1000 year legacy" through the growth of his property and financial investment companies.
Instead the Papua New Guinea-born businessman has left almost 200 creditors owed $13 million after four of his companies collapsed within one year.
Mr Smith "specialised" in providing people with advice to grow their "personal, financial and emotional" wealth through his companies.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents reveal Mr Smith operated several other companies from a massive $2.8 million Gold Coast mansion between 2011 and 2016.
Mr Smith also spent nearly two years living and working at what is now the Aquila Retreat, a luxury eco-resort on a 3.8ha site in Buderim.
Four of Mr Smith's companies, Omnia Lifestyle Group, Omnia Group, NRG Concepts and Omnia Property, have been put into liquidation since May 30, 2019.
Collectively the companies owe 197 creditors $13.05 million.
Liquidators note many of the larger debts are intercompany loans, with Mr Smith moving money between each.
He talked up his financial advisory group Omnia, boasting on his website of having "a vision to create a 1000 year legacy'' and a reputation "solid as a rock".
Mr Smith however has not responded to a request for comment.
May 30: Omnia Lifestyle Group collapses
July 3: Omnia Group collapses
November 29: NRG Concepts collapses
February 21: Omnia Property collapses
Omnia Group Pty Ltd
Provided labour and management services to related companies before it collapsed into liquidation on July 3 with debts to 72 creditors of $5.8 million.
Omnia Group owes $446,598 to Mercedes Benz for two vehicles registered in the company's name.
Flight Centre is also owed $1558.
More than $8 million in personal televisions, a lounge, bed and notebook were rented in the company's name through Flexirent.
A $1314.80 vehicle fine owed to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry was also put into the company's name.
Mr Smith blamed "economic pressure such as delayed revenue due to the Royal Commission" and expenses exceeding revenue for the collapse, but investigations by liquidator Shane Cremin revealed the company was trading at a loss since June 2016.
Its $5.8 million debt is unlikely to be paid, with the company's assets totalling $370.24.
Mr Cremin's investigations disclosed possible insolvent and voidable transaction claims, breaches of duties and other offences under the Corporations Act by the director.
Was formed in 2002 as an investment vehicle for related companies, earning commission revenue from property developers who sold land.
It was tipped into liquidation in November owing 62 creditors $4.15 million.
Mr Smith blamed the company's collapse on restrictions to lending policies, causing a significant loss of revenue.
Liquidator John McInerney identified a claim of insolvent trading, but acknowledged it was not likely to make a viable pursuit.
The company has no assets.
Mr McInerney's investigations suggest the company was likely trading insolvent from at least February 2019.
Omnia Lifestyle Group
Was put into liquidation on May 30 and subsequent investigations has found it owes 39 creditors, including three employees, $1.3 million.
The company was incorporated in 2014 and operated on the Gold Coast to raise capital for other entities linked to the company and also provided telemarketing services.
A statutoryreport into Onmia Lifestyle Group released in August noted creditors were not likely to see any return, with the company not owning any assets for collection.
Mr Smith blamed tightened lending rules following the banking royal commission for its financial difficulties, but company liquidators identified poor financial control, inadequate cash flow, high cash use and poor strategic management as the cause for its collapse.
A potential claim of at least $1.2 million could be levelled against Mr Smith for trading while insolvent since October 2018, but a recovery is considered "unlikely" due to the lack of ability for him to pay.
Is the most recent of Mr Smith's companies to bust, again with 24 creditors owed $1.8 million.
Its website has been removed, but according to its Linkedin page the company would bring clients "positivity and happiness on a personal, financial and emotional level".
The property investment company worked with licensed financial planners, life coaches, credit advisers, legal advisers and tax accountants to create a wealth program for clients.
It collapsed with 62 cents in a Westpac bank account and -$6761 overdrawn from an ANZ account.