This week Resnick filed an affidavit in the Federal Court, which indicated that while the Toplace Group is worth about $1.47 billion on paper, the group’s debts were approximately the same amount.
According to its website, “Toplace Group’s founder Jean Nassif has delivered approximately 30,000 residential homes, shopping centres and commercial suites all located in Sydney.”
Although Toplace boasts of its “remarkable buildings [which] are delivered in response to evolving design and lifestyle trends”, a number of owners’ corporations have lodged claims totalling almost $124 million to fix serious defects in Toplace buildings. Court documents show administrators are investigating the ongoing development of more than 3000 residential apartments.
Further complicating the administrators’ task is unravelling intercompany loans between Nassif’s entities that total $319 million. In addition, a staff member has indicated there may be another $400 million in loans with Nassif entities not in administration.
Administrators said an “apparent intermingling of financial records” made it difficult to unpick the web of debt, and noted Toplace’s books and financial records had not been properly updated since 2021.
A further complication may be a potential asset-split of Nassif and his wife Nissy, who is described in court documents as “the estranged wife”.
The Federal Court has granted dVT another six months to unravel the financial wreckage of Nassif’s empire.
According to documents filed with ASIC, dVT maintained that the meetings Tayeh and Resnick attended before their appointment “will not influence our ability” to administer the Toplace group “in an objective and impartial manner”.
Resnick and McCallum also said that there were no other relationships relevant to creditors assessing their independence.
However, the Herald can reveal that, even though he is bankrupt, ASIC documents continue to show that Tayeh remains a director of several companies, one of which also lists Jean Nassif’s brother Sarkis Nassif as a fellow director.
Both men are founding directors of the Lebanese Christian Charity Foundation and both remain on the board, according to ASIC documents.
Jean Nassif and his older brother Sarkis have previously been in business together and court documents show Ashlyn Nassif and her uncle Sarkis hold a power of attorney for Jean Nassif. Tayeh said that he wasn’t aware nor did Sarkis ever disclose to him that Sarkis held his brother’s power of attorney.
Sarkis, who is also a major property developer, is not accused of any wrongdoing.
Tayeh denied he held any current directorships, including on the charity. “I have resigned from and I am not a director of any company or organisation, nor have I attended any meeting in that capacity since May last year,” Tayeh told this masthead.
Under the Corporations Act, bankrupt people are disqualified from managing corporations or being directors or company secretaries. Penalties for breaching these rules include fines of up to $8500 and up to one year’s imprisonment.
Although Tayeh said he had resigned all directorships following his bankruptcy, corporate records show him remaining a director of nine companies.
One of the companies of which Tayeh is still listed as a director is Kollakorn – which previously had as a fellow director Sevag Chalabian, a former lawyer recently sentenced to a maximum of 12 years’ prison for laundering $24 million in blackmail money linked to the Plutus Payroll fraud.
“The matter of my bankruptcy is again a matter of public record,” he said in a statement. “I have nothing to hide and, as painful as the decade-long court case that preceded it was both personally and professionally, I am one of thousands of Australians who each year face that challenge.
“It does not rule us out of continuing to proceed with our lives.”
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-bankrupt-the-fugitive-and-the-billion-dollar-toplace-collapse-20230802-p5dter.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw firm of undischarged bankrupt to be administrator of Jean Nassif’s failed property empire