Crazy Ron's Communications – a company founded by the Queensland reseller, Ron Bakir, that funded Schapelle Corby's defence team in Bali – has entered voluntary administration after declaring insolvency in early April.
Documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) reveal that Crazy Ron's Communications – one of many in a group of companies that includes the Bakir-founded reseller Mad Ron's Mobile Phones – entered voluntary administration on 5 April.
Vince Amore, director at Mad Ron's Mobile Phones on the Gold Coast and a business partner of Ron Bakir, said Mad Ron's itself had not gone into voluntary administration. "That's absolute bullshit," Amore said.
Bakir is a discharged bankrupt. Today, he is believed to officially act as an employee of Mad Ron's. The director of Crazy Ron's Communications is Paul Bazouni, who has also been reported as a director of BHL Group, which allegedly bought Bakir's mobile phone business in 2001.
Bakir has not responded to repeated requests for interview from CRN.
Mad Ron's was forced to change its name from Crazy Ron's when Mobileworld Communications – a Victoria-based mobile phone reseller trading as Crazy John's – successfully sued Bakir's company in 2003 for trademark infringement.
The Australian Business Register reveals that the company that has now entered administration officially traded as Mad Ron's Mobile Phones for one month – 10 June 2004 to 7 July 2004.
The day before that – 9 June 2004 -- the official trading name was Crazy Ron's Communications Pty Ltd. That name is listed as the current trading name.
An ASIC search for "Crazy Ron's" reveals 14 slightly different incarnations of that name, such as "Crazy Ron's Mobile Phones", "Crazy Ron's Communications Australia" and "Crazy Ron's Holdings".
Only two are currently active: Crazy Ron's Communications Australia Pty Ltd and Crazy Ron's Network Pty Ltd. Those two and Crazy Ron's Communications Pty Ltd – the one that entered administration 5 April – were all registered in Victoria, postcode 3053.
Another earlier iteration, Crazy Ron's Pty Ltd, was wound up in 2002.
An ASIC search for "Mad Ron's" lists eight variations on the theme. Only one, Mad Ron's Pty Ltd – also registered in Victoria 3053 – is still active.
Crazy Ron's Communications' administrator, Paul Brake at Gold Coast-based Australian Corporate & Personal Insolvency, held the first creditors' meeting on 11 April. Few details are listed in the minutes of the five-minute meeting.
The minutes said all the company's assets were up for sale but had mysteriously already been sold in September.
"The company's former solicitors had stated that all of the company's assets had been sold pursuant to a sale agreement effective September 2004," the minutes said.
Brake said he would investigate the sale and asked whether anyone would buy the assets, had concerns over "specific arrears" or was interested in funding investigations. No one present was interested, the minutes said.
Mobileworld Communications and the Australian Tax Office are believed to be creditors. Brendan Fleiter, managing director at Crazy John's, had not replied to calls from CRN at press time.
However, it has been alleged that Crazy John's has not yet been paid some $500,000 in costs from the 2003 court case. The Crazy Ron's group of companies were ordered to pay 70 percent of Crazy John's costs for the original trial, including a cross-claim, but Crazy John's had also been ordered to pay the cost of a later appeal by Crazy Ron's.
News reports have suggested the total monies owed by Crazy Ron's Communications might be around $1.4 million.
Mobile Ron's Mobile Phones has eight stores in Queensland, four in New South Wales and six in Victoria.