A Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for a house in the Griffith suburb of Collina worth over $700,000 to be sold as part of the multi-million dollar liquidation of a local winery.
Hanwood farmer Aaron Salvestrin, 29, launched Sans Pareil Estate in 2018. Over the next four years, he established nine different companies associated with his winery.
All nine of these companies went into liquidation in October 2022.
The companies allegedly owe $32 million to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and hundreds of thousands of dollars to regional small businesses.
The liquidator, insolvency firm Chifley Advisory, has been selling winery assets so that proceeds can go to those owed money (creditors).
Chifley Advisory, however, has been unable to sell a spacious four-bedroom house at 39 Brooks Street in Collina, which was purchased by Salvestrin Enterprises Pty Ltd, one of the nine companies associated with the winery.
The problem for the liquidator is that this property was held within a trust for the benefit of a third party that may not be part of the winery.
The liquidator, therefore, applied to the Supreme Court to become the receiver for Salvestrin Enterprises Pty Ltd, which would give it the power to manage and sell assets within the trust.
In his decision published on Thursday (9 November), Supreme Court Judge Williams gave the liquidator the power to “take possession of, preserve, maintain, and sell the assets comprising of the trust property” [39 Brooks Street].
This house was purchased by Salvestrin Enterprises Pty Ltd for $711,000 in February 2022. The previous buyer paid $465,000 for it in 2015.
Region understands this property has been rented out to tenants for $800 a week and is located next door to where Mr Salvestrin himself previously lived. The 39 Brooks Street property has two bathrooms, two car spaces and a total land area of 942 square metres.
The neighbouring four-bedroom former residence of Mr Salvestrin at 37 Brooks Street was bought for $850,000 in June 2021 and sold for $775,000 in February 2023.
The 29-year-old did not attend the Supreme Court hearings on this matter.
However, in an email sent to Chifley Advisory’s lawyer, he objected to the liquidator being appointed as the receiver to manage the trust assets.
Judge Williams’ decision indicated the Hanwood man did not provide “evidence about his claimed concern or about his objection”.
Region‘s ongoing investigation has revealed at least 30 vehicles have been listed as assets of Sans Pareil Estate during its four years of operation.
An imported McLaren P1 supercar signed by Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo was sold by liquidators for $1.47 million soon after Sans Pareil Estate collapsed. A Mercedes Benz Actros truck, a Mercedes Benz GLE53, two Volkswagen Tiguans, a Volkswagen Amarok and three Mitsubishi Outlanders were also listed as winery assets.
The liquidator has also initiated separate Supreme Court proceedings to recover money from Mr Salvestrin. The case has been delayed several times and is unlikely to be resolved until next year.
In court documents, the ATO alleged the winery created false financial statements to receive GST refunds to which they were not entitled.
All Supreme Court matters regarding Mr Salvestrin have been in the civil jurisdiction, meaning they relate to property or money and are not criminal matters. He has not been charged with any offences in relation to his winery.
Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.