Grossest Market owner liable for debts, High Court rules

Regular readers will know that we’ve taken an interest in the shonky business dealings of Aaron Drever.

Aaron Drever’s world is collapsing in on itself as he’s just lost a recent High Court case where it was held he is personally responsible for the outstanding debts of The Grocer’s Market.

The NZ Herald reports: Quote:

An Auckland businessman has been found personally liable for nearly half a million dollars in debt after failing to restart the Nosh supermarket brand.

Aaron Carl Drever had bought Grocer’s Market, replacing a Mt Eden Nosh store, in August last year after the upmarket supermarket chain went into receivership and collapsed last July.

He then opened his business in the same building as the former Nosh outlet on Dominion Rd.

But Grocer’s Market lasted just a few months and its assets were bought by rival company Farro Fresh.

This year, Waterstone Insolvency was appointed liquidator of TGM Trading, Drever’s trading company.

Today, the High Court at Auckland heard an application from liquidator Damian Grant to hold Drever personally responsible for Grocer’s Market’s creditors’ debt and liquidators’ fees.

Counsel for Waterstone, Joshua Wong, told the court Drever had failed to keep proper accounting records as required under the Companies Act, and had substantially impeded an orderly liquidation.

He said he was personally liable for all of the outstanding debt to creditors, a little more than $444,000, and the liquidators’ fees – a total of $489,729.34.

The court heard Drever kept no day-to-day transaction records but some GST returns had been filed.

Justice Peter Churchman, delivering his judgment at the end of the hearing, said Drever had “failed egregiously to comply with his obligations” and was personally liable.

Drever wasn’t in court for today’s hearing, and Justice Churchman heard he had filed no submissions in his defence nor been in correspondence with Waterstone.

However, the judge said there was “no possible defences that Mr Drever could have raised had he appeared in person”.

The former real estate salesman had once made over $1 million per year in commission and has sold more than 500 homes.

But Drever was stripped of his real estate license in November 2016 after receiving nine adverse disciplinary findings from the Real Estate Agents’ Disciplinary Tribunal. End quote.

When the full story of The Grocer’s Market finally comes to light many people are going to find out why we were not surprised that this was always going to tip over. Eventually the truth will out.

Meanwhile it is pleasing to see ratbag business people being held to account. Let’s hope the liquidator has a good hard look at all involved.

I wonder if his latest venture, a takeaway bar, actually makes some money.