Less than a week after placing six companies into liquidation Dream Homes director Thomas Buckthought has fled to Australia.
Dream Homes liquidator Kim Thompson confirmed yesterday Mr Buckthought had crossed the ditch.
It is understood he moved to Brisbane last Thursday with his wife Penny Jane Buckthought and their baby boy.
Volk Industries Ltd, which traded as Dream Homes, owes more than $1.5 million to about 100 creditors and has "little or no assets", Mr Thompson said.
The Daily News understands Mr Buckthought held a party before they left.
His two storey home, located on a 2.3 hectare section, was now on the market for $500,000.
Dream Homes was a Registered Master Builder member for six months in 2010 but was kicked out of the federation following a dispute.
After being dismissed from the federation Dream Homes continued using Master Builders branding on its website and stationery. During its time as a member Dream Homes filed no Master Build guarantees.
Detective Sergeant Greg Gray said yesterday police had received no complaints about Mr Buckthought and there was no investigation under way.
However, the Commerce Commission said the case had been brought to its attention and fair trading managers had started an assessment process.
The Taranaki Daily News knows of one Dream Homes customer who lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission yesterday.
In an email sent to the paper from Mr Buckthought yesterday some of Dream Homes' excessive spending came to light such as offering a $100,000 giveaway and printing $30,000 worth of promotional material.
Mr Thompson said it was preferable if Mr Buckthought was in New Zealand but as long as he remained co-operative it shouldn't be an issue.
Directors of insolvent companies regularly fled to Australia, he said.
If it was found that Mr Buckthought had traded recklessly or fraudulently than it would go beyond the realm of the liquidator and become a criminal matter, he said.
If that was the outcome then Mr Buckthought could be extradited. Editorial: Page 10
- Taranaki Daily News
Should New Plymouth council sell off assets from the Perpetual Investment Fund to pay off debt?Related story: Perpetual Investment Fund asset sell-off 'should be debated'
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates
Get your mid week news fix
Get your South Taranaki news online