Bankrupt suspected of running companies

MARTA STEEMAN
Last updated 05:00 21/03/2014

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Christchurch property developer Dave Henderson's exit from three years of bankruptcy has hit a major hurdle.

Henderson would have been automatically discharged from bankruptcy in January but the Official Assignee has lodged an objection. The Official Assignee "strongly suspects" Henderson managed and controlled companies during his bankruptcy, in breach of the Insolvency Act, a High Court judgment shows.

The Official Assignee will be preparing a report for the High Court which will include the grounds for objecting to Henderson's discharge from bankruptcy, the court documents say.

The bankruptcy was imposed on November 29, 2010.

In December last year the assignee sought from Henderson copies of correspondence between himself and others, including that about companies previously associated with Henderson.

He was summoned to appear in the Christchurch District Court with the material on January 21.

However, Henderson took the approach that the request was for information about his property only and he told the court he had no property, the documents said.

The High Court judgment, released this week, grants the assignee's requests which demand Henderson hand over the required material in 10 working days.

The material includes a copy of the external hard drive and flash drives storing data extracted from Henderson's laptop, seized by the police during a search on April 8, 2011 of his offices, the court documents said.

Other material sought includes copies of emails between Henderson and Grant Smith during his bankruptcy, relating to companies in which Henderson has been a shareholder, director or had an interest in since July 9, 2005.

It also includes copies of emails during his bankruptcy between himself and Daniel Godden, Raj Patel, Wayne Bailey, Geoff Angus, Desmond Knowles and Ian Hyndman.

Henderson will be summoned by the assignee to appear in the High Court on June 9 for an examination of his bankruptcy, the court documents said.

The judgment said Henderson opposed the hard drive application, saying the assignee had seen the information, which had been supplied to the National Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development. It had taken no action to prosecute him.

He also said the order would be unfair, oppressive and an abuse of the assignee's powers as it would be a fishing exercise.

Henderson is representing himself. He said some of the material on the laptop was "deeply personal" between himself and his partner, Kristina Buxton.

The court has ordered material that the assignee judges to be purely personal to be returned to him.

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- The Press

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