7 Jun 2014

Nearly $1m missing, says liquidator

3:33 pm on 7 June 2014

The liquidator of the company behind a Bollywood show that left lenders out of pocket, says nearly $1 million is missing.

Indian Bollywood film actor Shahrukh Khan was part of the Temptation Reloaded show.

Indian Bollywood film actor Shahrukh Khan was part of the Temptation Reloaded show. Photo: AFP

About 4000 people attended the Temptation Reloaded show, featuring some of Bollywood's hottest stars, at Auckland's Vector Arena in October.

Promoter Agastya Pesara's company, Areddy Private, was put into liquidation last month after he failed to repay $450,000 in loans used to fund the show.

Mr Pesara said the money was an investment that cannot be repaid because the show did not sell enough tickets and lost nearly $1 million.

He said all the suppliers bar two were paid, as were the performers. But Mr Pesara said the loans were investments, and therefore he couldn't repay because the investment went badly.

The court appointed liquidator, Digby Noyce, said that was not true.

"There are loan agreements with the creditors that make it clear that these were loans, not investments."

Mr Digby said they were following a number of leads but the investigation had been hampered by a lack of documents and banks' statements.

He said it appeared around $400,000 had been channelled through bank accounts not linked to the company and they were trying to find out where the money ended up.

"It's not clear whether the promoter has just done a bad job and lost the money or whether he has left investors high and dry. It appears to be the latter because the show sold well and it should have made a profit."

Mr Noyce said all up nearly $1 million had yet to be accounted for and he is urging anyone with information to come forward.

Pesara placed in bankruptcy

Areddy Private's sole director Agastya Pesara was placed into bankruptcy in May and has since moved to Australia, where he said he has been living off the generosity of friends and has only just started a new job in sales.

Mr Pesara told Radio New Zealand that he was sorry the show went badly, but that it wasn't his fault.

"It was a surprise that tickets didn't sell," he said.

Speaking from Australia, Mr Pesara said he had personally been left out of pocket.

He said the show only sold 3099 tickets, with another 1000 given complimentary tickets. But the show needed to sell at least 4000 tickets to break even.

Mr Pesara said a travel agency was still owed $69,000 and Mediaworks was owed $23,000 for advertising.

He said he had not been in touch with the liquidator because he has been depressed about the situation and he intends to make contact.