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Winley missing millions ‘gone for good’

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Attempts to recover more than $8 million that disappeared from the accounts of failed Perth authorised representative company Winley Insurance Group have been unsuccessful.

As previously reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au, Winley collapsed in 2016 following the alleged theft of funds from the company’s trust account.

Liquidator RSM Australia Partners’ second and final report to creditors, published today, says agreement with a litigation funder enabled the pursuit of Director Jeff Bailey and CFO Nickolas Rapos for the missing $8.69 million.

However, during court-ordered mediation “both demonstrated limited financial capacity” and just $75,000 was recovered from Mr Bailey and $90,000 from Mr Rapos.

The report notes that “the director had previously held real property but transferred the property just prior to my appointment as liquidator, and the CFO held several properties at the date of my appointment”.

RSM’s previous report in 2017 found the money appeared to have been “misappropriated” between December 2013 and January 2016. Winley’s known liabilities totalled $3.31 million, and insurance companies are believed to be among those owed money.

The 2017 report names Chandanie Godwin and Michael Kapilovsky as possible de facto Winley directors, and Steven Godwin as a shadow director. “Enquiries into the whereabouts of Mr and Ms Godwin and Mr Kapilovsky suggest they are overseas,” it said.

insuranceNEWS.com.au understands that the liquidator has no intention of pursuing overseas parties due to the resources that would be required and the lack of enforcement powers.

The latest report says Winley held professional indemnity and management liability insurance, but the policies would not respond due to “false pre-placement disclosures by the company”.

RSM has passed details to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which permanently banned Mr Bailey from the financial services industry in 2017, and the WA Police fraud squad.

“ASIC has subsequently advised it does not intend to take any further action,” the report says. It adds that “no response has been received at this time” from the police.

RSM says as a result of the small amount of funds recovered, creditors will not be getting their money back.

“Notwithstanding the recoveries made, there are insufficient realisations in the liquidation to enable a dividend to any class of creditor.”

A meeting of creditors will be held on June 11 to approve the liquidator’s remuneration of $170,864, and the liquidation of Winley should be finalised by July.