Home builder tried to avoid going broke by making a $3million bet on cryptocurrency and donating to a Christian charity before it went under
- Privium poured $3million into Gold Coast cryptocurrency while it was insolvent
- Construction conglomerate went into liquidation in December
- Administrators found huge payment to crypto Qoin after it went bust
- It also found $500k payment to Christian charity led by Privium founder’s wife
A construction company poured $3million into a Gold Coast cryptocurrency and more than half a million to a Christian charity in a last ditch effort before it went under.
Privium group, a conglomerate of companies best known for home building, went into liquidation in December, with a report conducted into their finances finding they had likely been trading while insolvent.
Hundreds of properties have been left unfinished due to Privium going bust, with founder and CEO Rob Harder saying they are ‘deeply sorry’.
‘I understand that this is not the news you wanted to hear and that this will create real difficulties,’ Mr Harder said in an email to clients last year.
A construction company poured $3million into a Gold Coast cryptocurrency and more than half a million to a Christian charity in a last ditch effort before it went under
‘My priority is to ensure that all homes under construction are completed, and to alleviate as much as possible, angst and complications.’
Privium, which is based in Brisbane and includes property developer Impact Homes, has built houses in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
The pandemic hurt the group’s business, with building sites shut down around the country but particularly in Victoria due to the state’s lengthy lockdown in 2020.
Administrators, however, believe it was a series of investments that were responsible for its downfall rather than Covid, citing the $3million crypto punt.
It turned the cash into Bartercard dollars which were then converted in Qoin coin, a Gold Coast-based currency.
‘Based on our investigations into the nature of Qoin, it is evident that it is an extremely illiquid asset with its sale limited to a few hundred dollars each day,’ the report said.
‘Consequently releasing this asset is extremely difficult, if not impossible’.
Administrators believe it was a ‘possible breach’ of duties by directors.
Administrators however believe it was a series of investments were responsible for its downfall rather than Covid, citing the $3million crypto punt in Gold Coast-based coin Qoin
They also noted a $530,000 donation to Christian charity Love Your World, who counts Privium founder Mr Harder’s wife Rachel as one of its directors.
The sum was paid over four payments in 2021, while a special dividend of $50,000 was also paid to Love Your World in 2019.
These payments could also be in breach of directors duties.
The Courier Mail reported the Harders are also members of Hillsong church.
Administrators also uncovered three payments from a group called ‘Open Gold’ to Privium that totalled $20million in June 2020.
Hundreds of homes around the country have been left unfinished due to the company going under, while directors were pouring money into crypto and Christian charities
An identical amount was also transferred to an organisation called ‘The Promise’ from ‘Open Gold’ that same day.
Mr Harder said it was to raise capital under a ‘digital unit trust’, but administrators say his ‘explanation was inadequate’.
The report strongly recommended Privium continue to be investigated but said it was unlikely they had the money left to pay back creditors.