Bankrupt Auckland builder squanders $1.5 million at casino

A bankrupt Auckland builder has pleaded guilty to 10 charges under the Insolvency Act 2006, after he gambled away more than $1.5 million – money which could have been allocated to his creditors, says Official Assignee (OA) Ross van der Schyff.

"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," says Mr van der Schyff.

"After Li Dong Xie was bankrupted in July 2010 for failing to pay back debts incurred in the course of running his building business, New Town Home Construction Ltd, he showed a reckless disregard for his obligations as a bankrupt, which had been made clear to him by the Official Assignee."

"Rather than respect these obligations, Mr 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."

Despite being explicitly told he could not leave New Zealand without the Official Assignee's consent, Mr Xie tried to board a flight to China before being arrested by Police at Auckland Airport.

"Following this string of breaches, and Mr 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," says Mr van der Schyff.

The charges included concealing property, gambling, acting as the director of a company without the consent of the OA, obtaining credit, attempting to obtain credit, obtaining property on credit, failing to file a Statement of Affairs, and attempting to leave New Zealand without the consent of the OA.

Mr Xie, also known as Lidong Xie, Frank Xie and Solomon Xie, entered his guilty pleas on 12 March 2018 at the Auckland District Court. Sentencing is to occur on 18 May 2018, with some of the charges carrying maximum penalties of up to three years imprisonment.

Mr Xie is currently in his second bankruptcy, and is not due to be discharged until November 2018. Until then he cannot take part in the management of any business without consent from the OA.

As a result of these convictions he has also received a further prohibition from being a director, promoter, or involved in the management of a company, unless he obtains the leave of the Court, until 12 March 2023.