Bankrupt Dave Henderson faces charges

MARTA STEEMAN AND BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 13:31 21/03/2014
Dave Henderson

SUSPECTED OF RUNNING COMPANIES: Dave Henderson would have been automatically discharged from bankruptcy in January before an objection was lodged.

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Christchurch property developer Dave Henderson faces two charges and a fresh hurdle to exit bankruptcy.

It has emerged that Henderson was charged in November with misleading a government official and obtaining more than $1000 credit while bankrupt.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment confirmed the Official Assignee had laid two charges against Henderson on November 7 alleging that between November 2010 and April 2013, Henderson failed to disclose information relevant to his status as a bankrupt.

It has also alleged that in late 2011 Henderson, being an undischarged bankrupt, obtained credit of $1000 or more.

If found guilty or either charge, Henderson could be jailed for up to 1 year or fined $5000.

Henderson told The Press this morning he had tried to find out about the nature of the allegations for the past five months but had been kept in the dark.

"I have asked . . . for all the details around this and I don't have it," he said.

"I have no idea when they [the charges] are going to be heard, no-one will tell me. I've asked for disclosure around it, no one will tell me."

Henderson would not immediately comment further because he had to return to a meeting.

Henderson's exit from three years of bankruptcy has also 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.

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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.

- The Press

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