Prominent debt collector Mick Gatto of Underbelly fame and business partner Matt Tomas have staved off the collapse of their crane hire business by the last minute payment of a $67,057 debt.
Brooklyn-based Elite Cranes was facing insolvency over a long-running debt to subcontractor APAC Crane Hire, which the Supreme Court had ordered must be paid by August 7 or the company would be liquidated.
Mr Gatto and Mr Tomas kept control of their business after the dispute was settled on the court house steps ahead of the scheduled hearing.
The money will go to the creditors of APAC Crane Hire, which was placed into administration in 2011 with debts of more than $1 million. Administrator Philip Newman of PCI Partners confirmed Elite had paid its bill in full and the legal proceeding had been discontinued.
But Elite Cranes’ financial problems have been overshadowed by revelations that a secret recording of Mr Tomas providing assistance in a police murder investigation has been widely leaked to Melbourne’s underworld, potentially putting his life in danger.
Mr Tomas, who was acquitted of murder charges in the 1996 bashing death of a teenager, was himself the subject of alleged murder plot in 2003 by Tommy ‘‘Little Tommy’’ Ivanovic.
Mr Gatto and Mr Tomas did not respond to requests for comment.
‘‘It’s all been sorted – we’ve agreed to a payment plan. We all have debts. We pay them, we pay everyone,’’ Mr Gatto told Fairfax Media in late July.
Mr Gatto resigned as a director and secretary of the company in December 2012, but remains a 50 per cent shareholder in the business.
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