Bankrupt Auckland builder gambles away $1.5 million at casino

Li Dong Xie pleaded guilty to gambling away more than $1.5 million playing slots at the casino. Photo / 123RF

A bankrupt Auckland builder who gambled away more than $1.5 million rather than pay back his creditors, has pleaded guilty to 10 charges under the Insolvency Act 2006.

Li Dong Xie, who was bankrupted in July 2010 for failing to pay debts incurred while running his building business, New Town Home Construction Ltd, was charged with concealing property, gambling, acting as the director of a company without the consent of the OA, obtaining credit, trying to obtain credit, obtaining property on credit, failing to file a Statement of Affairs, and trying to leave New Zealand without the consent of the OA.

Official Assignee (OA) Ross van der Schyff said Xie “showed a reckless disregard for the obligations as a bankrupt, which had been made clear to him by the Official Assignee”.

“Xie continued to unlawfully run his business between July 2010 and August 2015. When he went on to receive approximately $1.5 million in earnings through his business dealings, rather than pay his creditors, he put it into slot machines at SkyCity Casino.”

Xie, also known as Lidong Xie, Frank Xie and Solomon Xie, was arrested at Auckland Airport while trying to board a flight to China without permission from the OA.

“The behaviour of this individual is an affront to the wider business community, who do meet their obligations, and has the potential to cause significant disruption and harm to the lives of everyday New Zealanders,” said van der Schyff.

“Following this string of breaches, and Xie’s attempt to leave the country in a blatant attempt to avoid his obligations, we are pleased that Mr Xie has been held to account for his offending.”

Xie entered his guilty pleas on March 12 at Auckland District Court and will be sentenced on May 18.

Some of the charges facing Xie carry a maximum penalty of up to three years imprisonment.

Xie is in his second bankruptcy, and is not due to be discharged until November.

He is prohibited from being a director, promoter, or involved in the management of a company, unless he obtains the leave of the court, until March 12, 2023.

He will also not be allowed to take part in the management of any business without consent from the OA.

Source: nzherald.co.nz (10th April 2018)

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