Daily Archives: July 17, 2016

Delta #EpicFail —Epic Fraud #7 : The Long & Winding Back Road

dirt road west at night [gettyimages.com]Delta, dirt road west at night….

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Sun, 17 Jul 2016 at 5:08 p.m.

Readers, tonight a post to keep things brewing, but please take that ridiculous tea cosy off your head, put it back on the teapot where it belongs – who do you think you are – Peter Tosh ? !

Firstly, Friday’s riddle and the background on the $3.39M; Mr Crombie proudly declaimed to Dunedin recently that by spending $3.39M of actual cash from Delta’s fast disappearing reserves to buy part of the Gold Band first mortgage, they will receive around $5.1M of the first mortgage debt, which means they THINK they have $1.7M of extra security for their very large core debt. This extra $1.7M is because Mr Crombie is ignoring the 22.50% interest on the $3.39M, ie there is no actual extra security, just Delta forgoing interest, which the other co-holders of the first mortgage are certainly not forgoing. Before we move on, readers should remember that Delta’s average annual profit over the last five years was just $2.6M, and so Mr Crombie and Co have just gambled the entire proceeds of more than an entire year’s profit on this venture, which is far from certain given the ongoing court cases about prior interest in the land. Readers may also want to bear in mind that Delta and the DCHL are in such terrible shape that they will not be paying a dividend to Council to defray rates rises over the next three years, a fact that Mayor Cull is desperate to hide from the public of Dunedin and thus far, the ODT are doing a very good job of assisting him in this endeavour.

In other words, the only beneficiaries of the $100M of work that Delta performed last year were the 70 Delta seat warmers who earned over $100,000 per year, and the Directors, who others, more unkind than your correspondent, have described as unrepentant troughers. Yes, readers, Delta is a corporate welfare scheme, providing a zero return to the ratepayers and is going to remain that way for the next two to three years. We know this because Ms Bidrose and Mr McKenzie explained that is why the city must retain Delta in their recent report on the DCHL companies, so it must be true.

Now as readers of Epic Fraud posts #3 – #6 will know, it is looking very (very) likely that DCHL, Delta and their lawyer Mr Smillie are going to get a comprehensive pasting in Court, the odds being they will be found to have not merely been a party to, but in fact have orchestrated a constructive fraud to ‘cheat a man of a known interest’ and openly flouted the provisions of the Property Law Act.

So what are the consequences of this ?

At the recent High Court hearing, Osborne J asked both Gold Band’s lawyer and the plaintiffs’ lawyer what it would mean if the first mortgage was unable to be partially assigned because the Property Law Act did not permit it.

Neither lawyer had an answer.

Subsequently, one set of lawyers has researched if there is any case law on the issue of partial assignments, and there apparently is not a one, which lends considerable weight to the argument that it is, as it says in the Act, not possible, ie illegal. Osborne J then said he would read up on the Property Law Act, and said that “maybe it meant that everything had to be wound back to before there were any partial assignments” or words to that effect.

Your correspondent would dearly love Mr Crombie (at a pinch, even Mr McKerracher would do) to explain what they think this will mean but, readers, you can guarantee a deathly silence, punctuated only by the sound of frenetic footsteps as there is a mad race to not be the one left standing, facing the inquisition following the court judgement.

Mr Smillie, Delta’s lawyer who cooked up the partial assignment, must be feeling a little anxious? (terrified?) at present. What a contrast to those heady days of early 2011, where it seemed he was on a tear, having schooled that old school crustacean Jim Keegan on the Property Law Act. He probably had a crack at actually walking on water that year, seemingly having pulled off the legal equivalent with the partial assignment. Alas, it appears to be a Febezzle, or “functionally equivalent bezzelment”, as defined by Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet’s cohort. This is where both parties feel wealthy, until the deception is revealed, but in fact it was Gold Band and Avanti doing the bezzeling, not the hapless Mr Smillie and Delta.

Here is what your correspondent thinks is the awful truth : If the first mortgage was “wound back” to pre April 2010, because Delta’s partial assignment was illegal, Delta may lose all of the $3.39M. It is no different than someone who has bought stolen goods and did not have the proof of ownership.

Grady, Graham, and Delta Directors, read this slowly and carefully – say the words out loud if it helps :

1. “An agreement for an illegal partnership will not be specifically enforced even though partly performed, nor can damages be recovered for a breach of it, and if the whole purpose of the partnership is illegal, the court will not recognise it, or enforce any right which the partners would otherwise have, especially when the parties have agreed to enter, as partners, into a transaction, which they knew to be illegal”

Let’s break this down for the Delta turnips :

a) Illegal partnership – check !
b) Partly performed – double check ! —Delta paid donated $3.39M to Gold Band and Avanti.
c) Damages not recoverable – check ! —Avanti and Gold Band get to keep the $3.39M.
d) Whole purpose illegal – check !
e) Knew it to be illegal – check ! (Tom Kain and Jim Keegan advised it couldn’t be done).

Readers, what are the chances of two small, opportunistic finance firms who are never likely to deal with Delta again, saying to Delta’s Directors:

“Well chaps, poor show, poor show indeed ! What about that Judge Osborne – a terrible time for him to have an attack of principles ! We shall not be sharing a drink with him at the Canterbury Club…. but don’t worry chaps, even though we don’t have to, and even though you or the courts can’t make us, and even though we have been put through the wringer first by NIL, then by the landowners, breached our trust deeds, had to pull our prospectus, and now been humiliated in court by your ineptitude, it’s all right, we will pay you back the $3.39m….

It should be enough to say it is Tom Kain’s favoured finance company we are discussing here.

We should also consider WWDD ? (What Would Delta Do – in that situation ?). Readers, I hardly need to tell you that Delta would have announced a record profit, up by $3.39M, and the CEO and Directors would have all recommended healthy increases to themselves in light of their exceptional performance.

The rustling of paper we hear is Grady, Graham and the Delta Directors editing their CVs to remove any mention of Delta (memo to DCC : complain to Institute of Directors about misleading and false advertising !) and writing the first draft of their resignations, “for personal and family reasons”, of course.

For Delta, the Noble Subdivision is no longer an intermodal multiple train wreck : it is a nuclear career conflagration that will consume all those involved with it.

█ For more, enter the terms *delta*, *noble* or *epic fraud* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Election Year. This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: gettyimages.com

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