A group of companies run by the owner of SoleNet and Sure Telecom have been wound up as liquidators chase up a potential $2 million debt owed to creditors.
The telecommunications companies owned by James Harrison were placed in liquidation in November 2014. These companies include Telco Service Holdings and Sure Telecom.
Liquidators from Deloitte conducted an investigation into the companies, which found that the company was insolvent before the transactions. At the time, the business was valued at $820,000.
The liquidators alleged that unlawful phoenixing activity took place when customers were traded between companies from 2013 and 2014 to avoid regulatory sanctions and debts.
The investigation named a number of companies involved, which also held onto customer contracts. These included Comms Service Ops (formerly SoleNet), SN Operations, Tech Group NSW, Tech Group QLD, Tech Group AUS, Tech Group VIC and Telcollect.
The court ordered these companies be placed into receivership by a third-party receiver in order to conduct a full investigation into which contracts were transferred to what companies in order to determine compensation for customers who are owed refunds.
The receiver from Cor Cordis, Sam Kaso, continued to run the business during the receivership in order to pay back the liquidators of Telco Service and Sure Telecom. However, Kaso determined it would be best to liquidate the group of companies in order to properly examine customer transfers, and that he could only sell the business if it was in liquidation.
The court said that debts of the combined company were close to $2 million, and that there were still 1093 customers as of March 2017.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission started legal proceedings against Harrison in April 2016 for alleged phoenixing activity.
In December, the court ruled that Harrison had participated in "unconscionable conduct" by transferring customers between companies without their consent between 2013 and 2015 as a result of restructuring the companies to avoid unpaid debts. He was also busted for harassing customers to pay early termination or cancellation fees for the unsolicited moves, without contractual grounds to do so.
Harrison was fined $250,000 in March and banned from running a corporation for three years.