Wang threat to taxpaying public, says IRD lawyer

By Kelly Gregor

May Wang says Natural Dairy's plan to buy farms will collapse if she is bankrupted. Photo / Greg Bowker
May Wang says Natural Dairy's plan to buy farms will collapse if she is bankrupted. Photo / Greg Bowker

Crafar farm deal frontwoman May Wang has claimed more than $30 million in GST refunds for companies of which she is the director, a court heard yesterday.

Wang is fighting Inland Revenue's attempt to bankrupt her over a $1.3 million debt it is owed after the collapse of her property development company the Dynasty Group.

Inland Revenue lawyer Nick Malarao said yesterday that the recession could not be blamed for all Wang's commercial failings. Apart from her problems as a property developer, she also failed at property investment and film producing.

Wang owes several creditors millions from the collapse of the Dynasty Group. Most of those creditors have voted in favour of a creditors' proposal to pay them 6.5c in the dollar.

But the IRD believes allowing her to continue normal business activity will put the public at risk.

Malarao said Wang had not disclosed all her assets to her creditors, including four companies in the British Virgin Islands and overseas trusts and bank accounts.

Yesterday it emerged the $850,000 that has been paid to UBNZ Trustee for Wang's creditors' proposal fund was wired from the Hong Kong bank account of a BVI registered company in Wang's name.

Wang said last week she had no assets, domestically or internationally, to her name. The $850,000 had been given to her by "friends and associates" from China. She would not disclose her backers' names but was later forced to in closed court. They have not been released to the media.

But Super Worth, the BVI company that paid the money, is listed in Wang's name and Natural Dairy - which owns 20 per cent of UBNZ Asset Holdings - has shares in the company.

Malarao said Wang's involvement with these companies, overseas trusts and "friends" who were paying for her flights back and forth from Hong Kong was "an insolvent dining at the table of a rich man, while her creditors' receive the crumbs".

Last week, Wang said if she was bankrupted Natural Dairy's plan to buy 16 Crafar farms across the central and lower North Island would collapse.

Yesterday, Malarao said the public needed to be protected from future commercial failure, and that Wang's reluctance to file company and personal GST returns on time would be likely to continue if she averted bankruptcy.

Malarao said companies of which Wang was the director had claimed $8.5 million in GST refunds and UBNZ Asset Holdings had claimed $24 million, despite being late on two GST returns and not declaring income it had received from Fonterra.

Malarao said this would not be in the public's best interest and that Wang's affairs should be handed over to the Official Assignee to protect the community from further commercial failures under her watch.

"Every single enterprise Wang has been involved in has been a failure. Every single year these enterprises have failed. They [the companies] have not filed tax returns.

"Therefore, [we are to assume] they have not made any money," Malarao said.

"There is a real risk that compliant taxpayers will suffer loses at the hands of May Wang."

The hearing finished yesterday and Judge Hannah Sargisson reserved her decision.

- NZ Herald

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