Due to a lack of funding, the investigation into the collapse of the troubled Peats Ridge Festival has reportedly come to a stop, with liquidators claiming that the festival’s creditors could be left $1.6 million out of pocket.
According to theMusic.com.au, the liquidators leading the investigation, Worrells, this week delivered a report that alleges Peats Ridge Director Matthew Grant could be liable for offences that include fraud, falsification of books and dishonest insolvent trading.
The suspension of the boutique Central Coast New Year’s Eve camping festival was announced in early 2013 and subsequently reports began to emerge that Peats Ridge owed over $1 million to many different creditors, including a $95,000 unpaid appearance fee for 2012 headlining act John Butler Trio.
In their report, Worrells allege that Grant used income from the company that held the 2011/12 and 2012/2013 festivals to pay off debt from previous ones, concluding that he had enough information to know the company would become insolvent.
“We believe that Mr Grant may have breached a number of criminal sections of the Corporation Act,” write Worrells. However they have not been successful in their appeal to the Australia Securities And Investment Commission (ASIC) to fund any further investigation.
Mal Tulloch of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance told TheMusic that ASIC’s decision was “terribly disappointing”. “You can have the strongest laws in the land but if the regulator is reluctant to prosecute what’s the point of having those laws?”
“They’ve decided this is not an important case… even though it has major ramifications for the music industry,” he added. Worrells say they intend to appeal the decision and have invited creditors to submit extra information by August 28th this year.