Bryers 'spiritual leader' of Blue Chip

Mark Bryers saw himself as Blue Chip's "spiritual" leader and mentor, and was convinced he could stop the company from collapsing despite $42.5 million being unaccounted for…Blue Chip directors continued to trade despite the company being insolvent throughout the latter part of 2004, 2005 and 2006, and must have been aware they had "disaster on their hands".

The New Zealand Herald
April 5, 2009

Bryers 'spiritual leader' of Blue Chip
Jane Phare

Mark Bryers saw himself as Blue Chip's "spiritual" leader and mentor, and was convinced he could stop the company from collapsing despite $42.5 million being unaccounted for.

The revelations come in a damning 43-page affidavit by Auckland accountant David Ross on the financial position of Blue Chip before its collapse.

The affidavit, filed in the High Court by barrister Paul Dale, concludes that Blue Chip directors continued to trade despite the company being insolvent throughout the latter part of 2004, 2005 and 2006, and must have been aware they had "disaster on their hands".

Blue Chip was using investors' deposits as working capital for much of that time, Ross said. By 2006, $42.5m advanced to a Bryers-controlled company Ingot Holdings (which later changed its name to Marinc and is now in liquidation) was unaccounted for.

The affidavit is for a test case to be heard on April 20 involving two Blue Chip investors who paid a deposit on an apartment in Auckland's Emily Place, a development that was later sold before the apartments were built. The case will allege the retired couple's loan application was fraudulently altered and that they should never have been allowed to borrow the amount they did on their limited income.

In preparation for that case, and another major case involving Blue Chip investors, Dale commissioned Ross to examine leaked Blue Chip board papers and financial statements for 2004 to 2006.

Blue Chip's woes are evident in the minutes, in which executives refer to the company's cash-flow problems, its inability to pay millions of dollars of PAYE and tax or to pay creditors.

The June 2006 board minutes record that Mark Bryers believed he was the only person who could sort out the company's cash-flow problems.

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