The Supreme Court has frozen the assets of an elderly dementia sufferer linked to the high-profile collapse of the JM Kelly Group because of concerns they could be siphoned off.
Glen Norris, The Courier-Mail Subscriber only|November 28, 2019 2:23pm
LIQUIDATORS of failed building firm JM Kelly Group have successfully applied to freeze the assets of the 80-year-old dementia suffering wife of the company founder because of concerns they could be siphoned off by her family members.
PwC liquidators Derrick Vickers and Michael Owen applied to the Supreme Court for a freezing order over Noreen Murphy’s assets citing concerns they may be divested and frustrate efforts to recover money for creditors.
Noreen Murphy is the wife of company founder Geoff Murphy and mother of Elizabeth and John Murphy, who both held senior roles in JM Kelly before it collapsed last year owing an estimated $50 million. The order not to divest or dispose of Mrs Murphy’s assets also applies to Geoff, John and Elizabeth Murphy.
Court documents filed by the liquidators state that Mrs Murphy granted an enduring power of attorney in October 2018 with her husband as her first attorney. But when Mr Murphy became a bankrupt in July this year her children, Elizabeth and John, took on the role.
Both Elizabeth and John’s assets have already frozen by the Supreme Court following a public examination in the Federal Court into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the Rockhampton-based building group.
The liquidators are seeking damages of $2.94 million from Noreen Murphy in her capacity as a director of GJ Murphy Holdings, one of the firms in the construction group. They claim she caused, or acquiesced in causing, the company to purchase loans from other firms in the group that were highly unlikely to repay the loan