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NSW mining boss forged partner’s signature amid $20m coal fight

“For clarity, I did not sign such paperwork, this has been falsified, it seems to me to be fraudulent, nor did I consent to it being signed on my behalf,” Clark told Thorn on June 28.

Clark and another former director, Ross Robson, said Thorn’s appointment was invalid, even “unlawful”, as it was based on a false document.

Newcastle liquidator Simon Thorn was appointed over Premier after director Luke Connor forged the resignation of his co-director, a court found.Credit:

Thorn, meanwhile, was preparing to sell off Premier’s mining lease and to wind up the company.

Premier had just $1982 in the bank at the time, according to some documents, and owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans from its own directors’ companies. Thorn ultimately took the matter to court, asking a judge to rule on his appointment.

Justice Kate Williams on Thursday concluded Clark’s signature on the resignation letter was a forgery, and Premier’s sole standing director – Luke Connor – was the only person with a reason to do it.

“I therefore find that the signature was forged by Mr Connor, or by someone acting at Mr Connor’s behest … to appoint a voluntary administrator,” the judge concluded.

The relationship between Premier’s directors had broken down so badly the company was headed for the scrapheap either way, Thorn’s lawyers told the court, arguing he should stay in as administrator.

Clark asked the court to eject Thorn, saying he and Robson planned to get the Delta deal back on track.

Justice Williams refused to validate Thorn’s administration because doing so would have given the seal of approval to Connor’s forgery.

The judge handed the company back to the directors.

Premier now faces an uncertain future, Clark and Robson may fail to get back on track with Delta, and Connor remains a director.

Delta may choose to wrap up the energy company over the $20m debt.

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https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-mining-boss-forged-partner-s-signature-amid-20m-coal-fight-20231006-p5eaaa.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national NSW mining boss forged partner’s signature amid $20m coal fight

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