May protests innocence in Global SDR troubles

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Former Global SDR director Roger May -- alleged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as associated with a plan to move the intellectual property of the insolvent developer offshore -- has protested his innocence.

Former Global SDR director Roger May -- alleged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as associated with a plan to move the intellectual property of the insolvent developer offshore -- has protested his innocence.

Global SDR Technologies, a telephony developer once controlled by now-bankrupt Melburnians Roger May and his son Jason May, was ruled insolvent by the Supreme Court of Victoria last month. It has been ordered to be wound up.

ASIC alleged the Mays or their associates may have been trying to transfer the intellectual property believed to be owned by Global SDR overseas "beyond the reach of potential creditors".

Roger May has since come forward to speak to CRN about the allegations. May told CRN the company had made every attempt to cooperate with ASIC's investigation and did not know why the allegations against Global SDR and the Mays had been made.

May further pointed out that the Mays were no longer directors of Global SDR.

Yet the actions of Global SDR had been up front and genuine attempts to get a promising technology off the ground in difficult circumstances, he said.

"It's disappointing and surprising. We poured all our assets into this technology and all we have done is fight off various attacks from various people for the last four years," May said.

He said those involved had spent "millions and millions of dollars" over the years but ended up with nothing. "It was a particularly hard call for us ... [The company] never traded, never had a bank account ... There are no creditors of Global SDR."

Global SDR had fought the allegations for six months but could no longer afford the financial costs, he said.

"This all started around about last October when we put out a press release on an American public company, saying that we had a controlling interest in the IP in the US," May said.

"And soon after that, ASIC brought out this press release about saving the IP for Australia-based companies."

He added that the authorities still had to decide who actually owned the IP for SpectroCell Software Defined Radio (SDR) and PC4 (Programmable, Command, Control, Compute and Communicate), the two new telephony technologies that Global SDR had developed and sought to resell.

"The judge clearly said it when I first went to court," May said.

SDR wireless base station technology has been tipped to help solve interoperability issues plaguing radio-to-radio communications in the military, police and government arenas.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) began proceedings in September to have Global SDR -- a holding company for SDR Technologies, formerly known as Military Communications Technologies -- liquidated due to suspected insolvency.

May said the main thing was to save the technology, which he still believed in and had real potential. There was no overt effort to transfer technology overseas to escape creditors, he said.

The technology, SpectroCell, might no longer be called SpectroCell but it would carry on in some shape or form, May suggested.

"I know that the IP will continue," he said.

He said he did not know why he was being targeted by ASIC. "From an organisational perspective, I've been very disappointed," May said. "We've been in a bit of a state of shock."

ASIC was not available for interview but originally submitted to the Court that it could "no longer have confidence in the Mays".

"These failings included not ensuring adequate books and records were maintained, not paying taxation obligations, not paying employees' wages and superannuation entitlements, and not producing books, records and other property of companies to external administrators when required," ASIC said in a statement.

"I'm not authorised. I don't talk for Global SDR," May said. "[But] can I suggest to you the only potential creditor is the liquidators."

All attempts to contact other executives involved with Global SDR either in Australia or overseas had failed at the time of writing.

US-incorporated Military Communications Technologies in May 2004 announced a 51 percent joint venture deal with Hong Kong-based Sun Wah Finance Holdings to develop, market and make SpectruCell in China.

Roger May was still listed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a director of Military Communications Technologies at that time.

Jason May was chief technical officer. On 2 September, Military Communications Technologies announced it had finalised a US$80 million deal to acquire most of the assets of Australia-based "affiliate" Global SDR in Australia, including a controlling interest in SpectruCell SDR and PC4.

Roger May was the majority owner of the original developer of SpectruCell, Advanced Communications Technologies (ACT).

The technology then was developed further by a company called Australon -- now Intermoco -- a 1999 joint venture between ACT and a company called Unilon. May was a director of Australon until 2002, when he resigned from the role.

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