Newcastle Knights owner Nathan Tinkler could face a courtroom grilling over the liquidation of his Patinack Farm stud and $5 million owed to creditors.
Amid a scramble for company records, Adelaide liquidator Tony Matthews told Fairfax Media yesterday he planned to issue examination summons to the former directors, Tinkler, Hunter Sports Group chief executive Troy Palmer and Patinack Farm Administration chief finance officer Tony Marshall, which could force them to appear before court.
A spokesman for Tinkler said last night that he was surprised by the action because, ''We have satisfied all of the liquidator's questions and have not heard from them in 12 months.''
But Matthews said a $5 million payment from PFA, which was the main employer at Tinkler's thoroughbred stud, to another Tinkler group company was at the centre of the probe.
He said if crucial documents were produced to resolve unanswered questions, the former company executives could escape a public examination.
''There is some information that we don't have, and the summons will be issued shortly to see if we can get production of these documents,'' he said.
Tinkler's spokesman said the $5 million payment was ''simply a book entry between associated entities that could be explained simply if the liquidator asked''.
If Tinkler appears, it will be the second time he has faced courtroom scrutiny over his ongoing financial concerns.
In March last year, he faced the NSW Supreme Court to be grilled about his finances by liquidators for his mining company, Mulsanne Resources.
PFA was placed in liquidation in November 2012, over an unpaid $16,978 debt owed to the Workcover Corporation of South Australia.
The company has debt claims against it of about $5 million, including $4.6 million owed to the tax office.
A financial report provided to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in December, 2012, found the company had $100 in cash only and no money in the bank.
Tinkler's spokesman said the tax office was the only creditor and, ''We have an ongoing relationship, and they'll be satisfied in due time.''
According to Matthews, PFA is owed about $5 million by one of two Tinkler group companies, and he is attempting to recover the ''major debt''.
''Both entities we are looking at are within the Tinkler group of companies,'' he said. ''The exact amount owed is in dispute, but we are looking in the order of about $5 million.''
Matthews said the process could take up to three months.
The story Nathan Tinkler could face court over Patinack sale first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.