Gag injunctions which insulate powerful people from their own misdeeds are making a mockery of Court justice in New Zealand. Michael Stiasny’s undue influence over judges up to the Chief Justice expose the real dangers. See the alarming evidence several judges saw and inexplicably suppressed.
On 5 May 2005, [CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT]. Five months later, France was promoted to the NZ Court of Appeal. For the last five years, no less than 6 NZ judges have prevented this evidence from being raised in Court.
Here is the evidence Ellen France J had before her:
1) Stiassny’s Report to the High Court dated 12 March 2001, claiming he would not be able to pay unsecured creditors ($25,826) because shareholders rejected his demand to provide ($148,000) in further capital funding. The company had over $150,000 cash in the bank and NO debt!
2) Two handwritten file notes from Stiassny’s lawyer which state that Paragon was “insolvent according to Ferriers” (stiassny’s firm Ferrier Hodgson) . This was two months after Stiassny’s Report to the High Court stating payments to creditors were stopped. Stiassny’s relationship with this lawyer was extremely close. Stiassy was also sole trustee of the lawyer’s family trust at the time.
3) Affidavit from Stiassny’s Manager Alan Garrett stating the common tests in determining insolvency “are the extent to which assets exceed liabilities and the ability to meet debts as they fall due.”
[CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT]. Stiassny claimed his overcharge was the result of confusing the Paragon account with a company called “Paramount”. He said once Mr Siemer challenged his fees, he discovered the error and corrected it. As the overcharge was (according to Stiassny) not a calculation error but rather a billing placement error, this meant his account would show a corresponding invoice to, and payment from, “Paramount”. But Stiassny would not provide his bank records showing this to be the case even after the Court of Appeal suggested to his lawyer that he do this. The reason why became apparent when the Managing Director of Paramount provided an affidavit stating that Paramount had never engaged Stiassny or his firm.
Why is the false insolvency claim, if not the deceptive billing, by Stiassny so damning? Because such rudimentary assessments are central to any accounting exercise – – as well as Stiassny’s unfettered reputation as a worthy big fish in a small pond. Through his banking connections, Stiassny has been entrusted with determining insolvency of some of New Zealand’s largest companies. A large portion of these companies’ shareholders had been screwed. As a small, cash rich company that was not trading and had no debt other than a few minor unsecured creditors, Paragon was a microcosm of Stiassny’s modus operandi. As accounting analysis goes, it was one of the simplest exercises. According to Michael Stiassny’s Report to the High Court and notes from his own lawyer, [CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT]
[CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT] But Stiassny proved more powerful than the oversight body. The Institute found every reason not to consider the unassailable detail.
Member of Parliament Lockwood Smith even made an inquiry to the Institute asking why the fraud allegations against Stiassny were not considered. In response to Dr Smith, the Institute implied Siemer had provided him a blinkered account. Siemer wrote back to the Institute (copied to Dr Smith) to advise that Dr Smith had been given the complete file and further authorised them to share everything with him in order to answer his question on the fraud. The Institute hired a lawyer instead.
[CENSORED BY ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT] Their excuse was because the fraud was not over $500,000, it was not considered serious enough. This was a perplexing excuse considering they were prosecuting former ACT MP Donna Awatere Huata over $80,000 at the time.
After Siemer evidentially exposed material contradictions in Staissny’s responses to the Institute, Stiassny requested the Institute put the formal complaint “on hold” pending the court case. The Institute was quick to comply. Stiassny’s lawyers then lied to the Court, stating the complaint against him had been rejected by the Institute and SFO when the fact was both declined to consider the evidence. At the Court of Appeal Stiassny’s mate Robert Chambers J wrote the Judgment upholding the gag injunction on “seriously arguable case in contract” grounds, even though these grounds were rejected by the High Court Judgment and had not been cross-appealed. Chambers J claimed that France J agreed with him on this ground, even though her Judgment contradicted this.
Now that Judge Mark Cooper replaced this interim injunction with a permanent injunction prohibiting defamatory publications only, the truth and evidence can be published. Not that Cooper J could find any defamatory publications. Stiassny’s own testimony at the ex-parte trial centered on abstract and irrelevant claims that his kids were teased at school because of the published revelations.
The fact remains that the Institute of Chartered Accountants have never considered the formal complaint detailing extensive evidence of accounting misrepresentations by Michael Peter Stiassny. The Serious Fraud Office declined to investigate. The New Zealand Courts have never allowed the evidence of this “accountant’s” accounting to be considered.
Siemer also has evidence that New Zealanders are paying far too much for electricity as a result of Stiassny’s disasterous expansion of Vector Energy in 2004-2005. Your Judges do not think you should see this. Chief Supreme Court Justice Sian Elias’ husband is on the Vector Board of Directors. She now wants to sit on Siemer’s appeal of his prison sentence for allegedly breaching the gag interim injunction Stiassny obtained in a civil defamation case where Siemer was prohibited by Court order from defending himself (Potter J 9 July 2007 CIV2005 404 1808) unless he paid Stiassny over $250,000 ahead of hearing and his statement of defence invalidated by Judicial order (Hansen J 19 April 2007 CIV2005 404 1808) after the Judge ruled the defences were valid (Hansen J 8 September 2006, CIV2005 404 1808).