LKM boss gets passport back
LOCAL investors who lost millions in the collapse of LKM Capital are in shock after finding company director Rolf Koops is free to leave Australia, less than a month before he is due in court.
Mr Koops surrendered his passport in January after the Australian Securities and Investment Commission applied to the Federal Court to block him leaving the country until the end of May, an order which was later extended until this month.
ASIC did not appear at Monday’s Federal Court hearing in Sydney at which the receivers for LKM Capital applied for the travel ban to be extended until October, arguing Mr Koops no longer had local ties and had claimed he had no assets which would be difficult to test if he remained overseas.
Mr Koops reportedly plans to leave Australia to take up a position in the UK with theatrical firm Backrow Productions, which is partially owned by his sister.
His wife Sandra Martin, the other LKM Capital director and founder, is already living in the UK.
The receivers want to ensure Mr Koops appears in a public examination of his affairs on October 21 and Supreme Court proceedings listed for October 28.
Some 1180 investors, the majority of them from Coffs Harbour, lost millions when LKM Capital collapsed in 2008 owing $63 million.
Among those in shock was Chris Tiley of Nana Glen, whose partner lost more than $250,000 in the collapse of LKM.
“How is this fair to investors who, in some cases, have lost everything?” Ms Tiley said.
“Many are elderly and self-funded retirees who now rely on Centrelink pensions to get by.
“My partner has gone from being a self-funded retiree living a reasonably comfortable life, to living on anti-depressants and a disability pension from the government.”