Administrators of collapsed horse syndication outfit BC3 Thoroughbreds will work with racing investigators to establish if fraud was a part of the business’s demise.
The administrators, Trent Hancock and Michael Hird of Moore Stephens, will also seek court approval to ask for more time to investigate the horse ownership group’s collapse because of its “complexity and intricacy”.
Mr Hancock and Mr Hird held BC3’s first creditors’ meeting at the Mercure Hotel in Geelong on Thursday. About 10 people, who were either creditors or representing those owed money, attended.
When one was asked how the meeting went, he replied “not good”.
It comes as Fairfax Media revealed on Wednesday that administrators are investigating offshore payments made by BC3, which was run by punting club operator Bill Vlahos. The exact ownership of Mr Vlahos’ prize thoroughbred investment, champion mare Black Caviar’s half-brother ‘’Jimmy’’, is also a priority.
But BC3 chief executive Craig Cameron said it was “easy” to determine who owned a share in the horse, saying it was fully documented.
Mr Cameron said he felt “sorry for everyone that’s been caught up” in the business’s collapse.
The administrators spokesman Justin Kirkwood said they have been not able to speak with Mr Vlahos, who has claimed a mysterious Dubai resident, Daniel Maxwell, was used by his $500 million punting club, The Edge, as a conduit to overseas betting markets.
Mr Vlahos who has declared himself bankrupt is believed to be in hiding interstate, fearing for his life.
Mr Kirkwood said the administrators would seek court approval to extend the convening time for the next creditors’s meeting, from the usual 30 days to 12 weeks.
He said the administrators were speaking with Racing Victoria investigators, who have been in talks with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over the beleagured horse ownership group.
The punting club, which was devised and built by Mr Vlahos has left nearly $500 million in unaccounted funds.
“We are working as closely as possible with them [Racing Victoria] to try to understand if there was any fraud perpetrated within BC3,” Mr Kirkwood said.
He said it was too early to say how much could be recovered for creditors, with admistrators still trying to access documents to establish a full paper trail.
The exact ownership of ‘Jimmy” - who is being closely monitored at the Werribee Veterinary Hospital, where he us being treated for a debilitating hoof disease – was yet to be determined, Mr Kirkwood said.
Bloodstock agents Inglis, which auctioned Jimmy in April where he fetched $5 million, have put in a claim for $5.8 million from BC3.
BC3 chief executive Craig Cameron said the ownership of Jimmy was no mystery and he had given the administrators all the business’s paperwork, which he described as being “intact”.
“We have got all the records of everyone that has paid for the horse so none of that is a problem,” Mr Cameron said. “From our perspective it’s easy for us to track who’s paid for the horse.
“There’s been a number of people have put up there hand and say the would [pay for Jimmy] and didn’t.
“The issue around horses is that until they are totally paid for they are not registered and that is where there is an issue around Jimmy that we are trying to work through with Inglis at the moment.”
Mr Cameron said he had spoken to Racing Victoria investigators but there had been no mention of fraud.
“I have spoken with Racing Victoria so that they could go through our records and make any decisions that they have to make. There have been no conversations with anyone regarding fraud.”
Mr Cameron said he spoke to Mr Vlahos a “few days ago”. He said his conversations with him have been purely related to BC3 business.
When asked how Mr Vlahos was personally and if he would like a swift resolution to the saga, he said Mr Vlahos had “his own problems to worry about”.
“I feel sorry for everyone that’s been caught up into it,” Mr Cameron said.
“We have given everything to the administrators. The issue for us to a degree is with Christmas coming up it puts a hold on things for a little period of time… for us to sit with the administrators and work out whether there is a better for us to move forward to help the creditors and staff get a better result.”