However, he sought to draw a distinction between alleging that Mr Mc Veigh is incompetent and alleging that Mr Mc Veigh is not, or was not, interested in achieving a financial return for MUSU creditors. These particular comments by Mr Cass appear to be reasonable and factually based, as far as the material before me is concerned.
Cass’s intimidatory acts were to make a series of inflammatory allegations against Mc Veigh, both in a circular letter to MUSU creditors and on Cass’s blog called Make Mc Veigh Pay.
Cass’s allegations included claims that Mc Veigh was a “crook”, “incompetent” and “less concerned about creditors than he is about the financial benefit of himself and his lawyers”.
The ASIC report showed that the liquidator had received amounts totalling about $5.28M, made payments totalling about $4.65M, had about $628,000 available but not distributed out of which he would be claiming about $495,000 for his own fees and expenses, and had received proofs of debt totalling about $4.48M.
Next to those items, Mr Cass made comments such as: “ This is how much Mc Veigh reckons he will get out of suing bankrupts, near bankrupts, insolvent companies and 20 year olds!
I’m not in any sense suggesting that all or even most liquidators are crooks or incompetent or more interested in enriching themselves than recovering money for creditors.
But I have no doubt that such liquidators exist, and the current system contains few real safeguards against abuse.
Company liquidators generally don’t have a client in any meaningful sense, at least not one with any real vested interest in ensuring that the liquidator doesn’t overcharge or pursue unlikely avenues of possible recovery mostly in order to maximise fee income.
Generally the company’s shareholders have no expectation of ever recovering anything in the liquidation and therefore don’t give a stuff what the liquidator does; the directors are inherently suspect because they were the people who sent the company broke in the first place; and very commonly no single creditor is owed a large enough sum to create a strong vested interest in closely overseeing the liquidator’s activities.
As far as the balance of convenience is concerned, if Mr Mc Veigh has a simple explanation for the figures in the ASIC return, no doubt he can give it to the creditors and others interested in the MUSU liquidation.