Umberto Tassoni - Court action

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20 June 2014
Court actions

Trustees are investigating the financial affairs of former chief executive Umberto Tassoni after he was made bankrupt for failing to refund more than $146,000 owed to 54 consumers.

The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria petitioned the Federal Circuit Court of Australia for orders to bankrupt Mr Tassoni, 55, of Brighton, after he failed to pay the refunds.

The court made a sequestration order against Mr Tassoni’s estate on 13 May 2014 and bankruptcy trustees were appointed.

Mr Tassoni's estate is now under the control of the trustees, whose powers include:

  • selling assets
  • recovering income earned over a certain limit
  • recovering property transferred to third parties in some circumstances.

The bankruptcy, effective from 13 September 2013, follows a history of poor business conduct by Mr Tassoni.

In 2003, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria took action against Mr Tassoni in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court, for fair trading breaches. 

At the time, Mr Tassoni was director of three companies that offered to supply mattresses. The court restrained him from supplying goods in a misleading way, making false and misleading representations, and providing goods different from those originally demonstrated.

In August 2004, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission disqualified Mr Tassoni from managing corporations for four years, after an investigation indicated he was a director of several insolvent companies.

In September 2010, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria took civil action in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Mr Tassoni, as de facto managing director of Magniflex Australia Pty Ltd, Educorp Pty Ltd and Zani Pty Ltd.

The Director alleged that Mr Tassoni had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and failed to supply goods. He was restrained by the court from accepting payment for goods prior to delivering them.

The proceeding settled on 6 March 2012, when Mr Tassoni agreed to pay full refunds to all consumers who complained to Consumer Affairs Victoria and remained out of pocket. The total owing was estimated at $146,080.

Consumer Affairs Victoria started bankruptcy proceedings when Mr Tassoni failed to make any payment.

Kenneth Stewart Sellers and Alice Faye Ruhe of Sellers Muldoon Benton have been appointed trustees of Mr Tassoni's estate.

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