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Gore fails in court bid to shift trustee

 

CRAIG Gore has failed to boot out his newly installed insolvency trustee Anthony Warner, keeping on track a fresh investigation into the embattled Gold Coast businessman’s affairs.

The Federal Court yesterday rejected Mr Gore’s application to restrain Mr Warner from acting as trustee.

Mr Gore had sought Mr Warner’s removal just hours after creditors appointed him on December 23 to oversee Mr Gore’s record-breaking $495 million personal insolvency agreement.

The Federal Court yesterday rejected Mr Gore’s application to restrain Mr Warner.

Mr Gore’s creditors — including the Australian Taxation Office, Mayfair Group and former close friend Kevin Kalkhoven — sought Mr Warner’s appointment after questioning oversight of the insolvency agreement by former trustee Max Prentice, of BPS Recovery.

While Mr Gore said he welcomed a new trustee, he argued that Mr Warner, of CRS Insolvency Services, was “conflicted”.

Last year, CRS Insolvency Services partner Steven Kugel took a hard line in his examination of failed Gore company Secured Capital & Finance Pty Ltd, describing its operation as “akin to a Ponzi scheme”.

In his affidavit to the Federal Court on December 23, Mr Gore sought the appointment of Nicholas Crouch, of Crouch Amirbeaggi, as an alternative trustee.

This also was rejected.

Despite the rebuff, Mr Gore claimed yesterday’s ruling as a “success”.

“In my view Mr Warner is on notice to perform in the best interest of creditors,” he said.

In another blast for major creditor Mayfair, Mr Gore said his former UK backer wanted to bankrupt him ahead of a court hearing later this month in which he is challenging Mayfair’s status as a creditor with debts of $152 million.

Mr Gore said Mayfair did not want this month’s hearing to proceed and that it would find a way to delay it.

“The only way to stop the action is to have me bankrupted,” he said.

“I don’t believe they ever want to take it to court.

“Shane Stone (Mayfair’s chairman) will never want to take the witness box.”

But Mr Stone yesterday laughed off the suggestion.

“He clearly doesn’t understand or know me,” the former Northern Territory chief minister said.

“Mayfair will never lie down on that issue and no executive of Mayfair will have any hesitation in being prepared to give evidence on oath.”