Receivers have been appointed to a company run by the fishing contest promoter who initially denied awarding a lucrative prize after insisting the winner took a polygraph test.
According to Companies Office filings, Prestige Events, which is directed and majority owned by David Baty and runs the upcoming Auckland Snapper Challenge, was this morning placed into receivership over unpaid debts due to an invoice funding firm.
Receiver Damien Grant of Waterstone Insolvency confirmed his appointment but said he needed more time to give an assessment of the company's state.
Prestige, the organiser of the upcoming Auckland Snapper Challenge, is directed and majority-owned by David Baty. Baty told the Herald receivership was "ridiculous" and was over an $1800 debt he disputed, but conceded he'd missed warning signs and would now have to engage a lawyer to exit receivership.
"There's an email in there, which last week I missed, which said we're threatening you with receivership. I've paid the $1800 to him today, and got to take it to the Small Claims Tribunal and dispute it. The law's an arse," he said.
Baty last month made headlines when his firm OddsOn Promotions - of which he is the sole director and shareholder - initially refused to award an Isuzu utility vehicle worth $48,000 to the winner of a Hawkes Bay marlin fishing contest. Baty had claimed fisherman Dean Young had failed a polygraph test when questioned about his Waitangi weekend catch.
Young, a former police detective, denied any suggestions of impropriety, and said he planned to sell the vehicle and share the proceeds with his crew.
After a storm of controversy, Baty last week told NewstalkZB he would pay out, citing a "peer review" of the polygraph test that had cast doubts on its reliability.
When contacted this morning, Young said he had yet to receive a ute, or a cent, from Baty, despite a publicity stunt last week that suggested he had.
"We haven't got it yet. There's been no transactions from him, but Isuzu apparently have come to us and said they'll give us the truck, and they'll fight with him to get the money back," Young said.
Baty said the disputed marlin prize concerned a company separate from Prestige, but maintained Young's prize would soon be awarded. "He's getting paid out tomorrow," he said.
Baty said Prestige's upcoming fishing competitions, the Auckland Snapper Challenger and next years' Beach and Boat, were still going ahead and would be unaffected by the receivership.
In late March the company blamed "lower ticket sales" for delaying its Auckland Snapper Challenger until October.