IRD chases businessman Sam Kelt

By DOUG LAING

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A threat of liquidation of Hawke's Bay company Kelt Capital Ltd results from thefts by a trusted friend and employee more than two years ago, says company director and multi-million dollar Hawke's Bay sports benefactor Sam Kelt.

But he hopes his latest battle will be resolved with the Inland Revenue Department within days, without liquidation.

"This all relates back to the theft of GST money by our company accountant who was convicted of the theft," he said. "Our accountants have been in dialogue with the IRD and we expect all matters to be resolved."

The threat has arisen with an application by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, over a tax debt, penalties and interest the IRD says has topped $250,000.

According to a Statement of Claim filed with the High Court in Napier in September the company owed $254,277.15 comprising $240,960.53 in unpaid GST, penalties and interest; $13,016.62 in fringe benefit tax and interest; and a $300 income tax penalty.

The IRD says the company was served with a demand on July 26 and failed to pay a sum which is increasing as the amount remains unpaid.

It says that because of the default it considers the company insolvent and seeks Kelt Capital be placed in liquidation in the Court in Napier on December 13.

The IRD is also seeking costs from assets of the company.

Mr Kelt, listed on the Companies Office website as sole director of KCL, sharing 6 million shares with wife, Belinda, and Napier corporate lawyer Andrew Wares, declined to comment when first contacted last night by Hawke's Bay Today, responding: "You will see the outcome in due course".

The prosecution Mr Kelt referred to was that of the now 46-year-old Kerry Anne Carswell who in October 2010 was handed the maximum-possible home detention sentence of 12 months, for stripping Mr Kelt's firms of almost $120,000, while also doing tax authorities out of another $117,000.

She admitted eight charges of misusing documents to take the money between May 2008 and March 2010, and was ordered to pay more than $129,000 reparation to banks which had reimbursed Mr Kelt, including more than $10,000 company investigation costs.

Having earlier also admitted six charges of defrauding the Inland Revenue Department, she had been employed by Mr Kelt for more than 17 years, and the money was taken from what her lawyer said were Mr Kelt's "satellite or equine enterprises".

Last night, Horse of the Year Show organiser Kevin Hansen said he was sure Mr Kelt would bounce back from a string of problems, which it has been reported include losses associated with South Canterbury Finance, and highly-publicised personal brushes with the law over driving and bar and social incidents.

He said Mr Kelt's drive and ambition was huge in the success of the horse show, which has established a seemingly permanent home in Hawke's Bay.

"He had unbelievable ambition, he wanted the show to be the best in the World," said Mr Hansen, who staged another successful show this year despite Mr Kelt's withdrawal last year. "We are quite close," he said, "certainly the best in the Southern Hemisphere. That's all down to Sam's ambition."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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