Liquidators of a former fine dining restaurant in Wellington are pursuing the former director over payments he says went to creditors.
Muse on Allen closed in February 2016, with owner Samuel North reopening Muse Eatery and Bay on the corner of Chews Ln and Victoria St, formerly home to 3C Bar and Restaurant.
The action against North — the sole director of the former Allen St business — has liquidators alleging a voidable preference claim.
In some cases, transactions deemed voidable could have to be reversed.
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On Monday, liquidator Vivian Fatupaito, of KPMG, confirmed legal action had been taken against North.
“[However], there is a dispute. That’s why we don’t like going into too much detail until issues are resolved, so he is aware of the claim, but it is disputed.”
Fatupaito could not give any further details as the matter was before the courts, she said.
In September, North said his current business — Muse Eatery & Bar — was not connected to the liquidated business. It was owned by Catering Limited, of which he is the sole director.
North said it was the first he had heard of the court action.
However, he said he had argued with the liquidators “ages ago” about money he took from the company to pay suppliers.
“They put a claim against me for, I think it was around $6000, saying that I needed to pay that money back, because I used that money for my own personal use — which I didn’t.
“I sent them all the invoices for where that money was paid to suppliers, so I paid all the suppliers that were outstanding,” North said.
“Then once I sent them all the information. I haven’t heard back from them since.”
The suppliers were paid with the money from the sale of the chattels from the Allen St premises, he said.
“I had all the proof to show them the money had been spent…that’s why I don’t understand why they tried to make that claim against me.”
North was previously chef de partie at another fine dining restaurant, White House, which closed in 2014.
Muse on Allen was put into liquidation in September last year following an application by the Inland Revenue (IRD).
The first liquidators report, in November, showed creditors were owed more than $160,000.
North told the liquidators the business failed as a result of management conflict with business partners, an expensive lease and cashflow issues, the report said.