A Melbourne-based company trying to develop and market an emerging telephony technology has been wound up in an attempt to stop its homegrown intellectual property being transferred overseas to stymie creditors.
Global SDR Technologies, a telephony developer formerly controlled by the now-bankrupt Melburnians Roger May and his son Jason May, has been ordered wound up by the Supreme Court of Victoria.
The Court this week ruled that Global SDR was insolvent, appointing Paul Pattison of accountancy Pattison Consulting as liquidator.
Global SDR had developed and sought to on-sell two new telephony technologies, dubbed SpectruCell Software Defined Radio (SDR) and PC4 (Programmable, Command, Control, Compute and Communicate).
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.
"ASIC submitted that the Court could no longer have confidence in the Mays, as directors of Global SDR, given their history," ASIC said in a statement.
"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 it had feared the Mays or their associates were trying to transfer the intellectual property of Global SDR -- SpectruCell SDR and PC4 -- overseas "beyond the reach of potential creditors".
"[We] sought to appoint a liquidator after receiving information that substantial amounts were owing to former employees of three previously-failed companies," ASIC said.
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 as a director of the company 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.
"Additionally, the acquisition includes the purchase of the controlling interest in the exclusive licence for the proprietary SpectruCell SDR and PC4 intellectual property," the company said in its announcement.
ASIC began its proceedings against Global SDR on 20 September. The owner of Global SDR at that time was stated as being another May holding company called Global Investment Funds (GIF).
iTnews made three unsuccessful attempts to contact Global SDR Technologies, SDR Technologies or Military Communications Technologies -- which is listed with the US Securities and Investments Commission as making its most recent filing in September.
Roger and Jason May have also been implicated in a fraud lawsuit relating to their former position as directors of another company, Australon Enterprises. ASIC reported in April that the pair had appeared on 14 April in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, facing two charges each.
The Mays were each charged with allegedly "dishonestly using their position" as directors of Australon Enterprises and with allegedly creating a false document to transfer 60 million shares in ASX-listed Intermoco (formerly known as Australon) from Australon Enterprises to GIF.
"[GIF] is a company controlled by Roger and Jason May," ASIC said in its statement.
The matter has been adjourned until 30 June.
Roger May was the majority owner of the original developer of SpectruCell, Advanced Communications Technologies (ACT). Australon -- now Intermoco -- was a 1999 joint venture between ACT and a company called Unilon.
Roger May was at one point Australon's chairman, but resigned his directorship 7 March 2002 to "devote his full attention" to ACT and his "US and UK business interests", according to a letter from Australon to the ASX that year.