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Australian liquidator suspended, further conditions applied in liew of cancellation of registration

Editorial Staff

The Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal, on the joint application of the parties, agreed to replace an order cancelling a liquidator's licence and replace it with a period of suspension and a further period during which he must not act as sole liquidator.

The licence to practice as a liquidator previously enjoyed by Trajan John Kukulovski of Melbourne was cancelled on 13 December 2019. However, the cancellation was expressed to be subject to review. On 16th December 2019, Kukulovski applied for a review. That came before the Tribunal on 7 January 2021.

Terms were agreed that there would be a suspension of three years from 15th January 2020 and that, for a further period of three years, he would not "consent to be appointed and/or act in any role for which registration as a liquidator is at the time required unless that appointment is on a joint basis with another registered liquidator whose registration is not subject to any condition that..." restricts his freedom to be a joint liquidator with Kukulovski.

The essential problem was not one of dishonesty which made the cancellation of his registration seem harsh but rather one of ineptitude. Simply put, he failed to file forms on time or at all, failed to hold meetings of creditors on time or at all and, most crucially, failed to properly supervise staff which resulted in approximately AUD200,000 being paid into the firm's own bank account and used to pay expenses on an unrelated case.

The biggest problem is that the conduct took place over a total of about four years and do not appear to be isolated incidents. But in mid 2019, Kukulovski seemed to be trying to get himself sorted out as it was announced that a former colleague from Jirsch insolvency practitioners was to join Kukulovski.

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