"Starboy" Matt Bowden - one of the pioneers of New Zealand's legal highs industry - tipped himself into bankruptcy yesterday, according to insolvency records.
The 45-year-old, when filing for bankruptcy, supplied the Insolvency and Trustee Service with an address in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Bowden put his company, Stargate Operations, into voluntary liquidation last year when he couldn't afford to pay his bills and was locked out of his lab where he made legal highs.
Creditors claimed more than $3.6 million from the failed firm.
Inland Revenue wanted more than $1 million and 22 unsecured creditors said they were owed $2.2 million. Employees claimed $457,000 in wages, redundancy, bonuses and holiday pay. Of this, about $137,000 was paid.
Stargate's liquidators, however, managed to recovered about $310,000 after selling the company's assets and recovering loans and other debts.
During their investigation, liquidators Rodgers Reidy seized laboratory equipment, music studio equipment and the business's "costume and prop hire branch", according to the liquidator reports.
Liquidator Derek Ah Sam said the bankruptcy meant there would likely be no further recovery.
The liquidators would now lodge a claim with the Official Assignee but Ah Sam wasn't hopeful of getting any more money back "unless they find a pot of gold somewhere".
Bowden, who made rock music under the stage name Starboy, is credited with introducing party pills to New Zealand and later moved into importing and manufacturing synthetic cannabis.
Following Stargate's liquidation, his Auckland properties were sold off, including a sprawling clifftop home in Auckland suburb of Torbay.
Bowden could not be reached for comment.