Tax office sues Bulldogs legends for millions
Canterbury Bulldogs luminaries Chris Anderson and Kevin Moore are personally being sued for millions as the fallout from their failed labour hire companies deepens.
The Australian Taxation Office has launched separate legal actions against the two former Bulldogs coaches in the NSW Supreme Court, alleging a long list of breaches by the pair when they were directors of the companies that are now in the hands of liquidators.
The allegations include millions in unpaid tax and superannuation contributions.
According to court documents, the ATO is suing Moore - who coached the club to a preliminary final in 2009 and is the son of club legend Peter "Bullfrog" Moore - personally for $2.5 million.
It is also suing 68-year-old Anderson - who wrote his name into Canterbury folklore when he guided the 1995 side to an unlikely premiership from sixth place - for an amount that is yet to be aired in court.
However, a liquidator's report for one of the three ailing companies said he had been slapped with a director penalty notice by the ATO that "resulted in him being personally liable" for $1.4 million.
Moore has filed a defence with the NSW Supreme Court and is disputing claims by the ATO that the three companies, of which he was a director, failed to pay $2.4 million in tax and more than $90,000 in superannuation contributions.
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It is understood Anderson is also preparing to defend the case against him.
The two court cases are an escalation of the financial disaster that has unfolded after the three labour hire companies - of which they were both directors - were put in the hands of liquidators in 2018 and 2019.
Anderson Recruitment and Training, AM Labour Hire and Art Labour hire collapsed owing $4 million, $5 million and $2 million respectively to creditors, according to liquidator reports filed with the corporate regulator ASIC.
It is not known if there is any overlap between the companies of the owed money.
According to the Anderson Recruitment and Training website, Anderson established the operation in 2009 with 54-year-old Moore. This was two years after his last NRL head coach position with the Roosters and a decade after he steered Melbourne Storm to its maiden premiership win.
The Liverpool based business, which specialised in sponsoring foreigners working on 457 visas, appeared to be thriving prior to the appointment of the liquidators.
The company's website boasted it was the winner of the 2018 Local Business Awards Professional Services category, while Mr Moore was a finalist in the Business Person of the Year category.
After their appointment, liquidators were unable to find records relating to the 457 workers and struggled to find the documentation to establish how the business failed.
That point may be explored in the ATO's case against the two men in the Supreme Court.
According to its statement of claim, the ATO claims Moore was responsible for 19 tax payments totalling $663,167 that were withheld by Anderson Recruitment and Training between May 2017 and January 2019, which were never paid to the ATO.
In his defence, Moore disputed the claim and denied the company "failed to meet its obligations" to pay the tax "to the extent alleged in the claim or at all."
The ATO also claims Moore was responsible as director for 12 superannuation payments totalling more than $90,000 that were not paid.
Similarly, Moore denied this in his defence and said the ATO's claim was incorrect before adding that the company "did not fail to comply with its obligation" to pay superannuation.
In relation to AM Labour Hire and Art Labour Hire, the ATO claims Moore, as director, was responsible for 13 instances of unpaid tax by the companies between December 2016 and September 2018 totalling more than $1.7 million.
Moore has also denied this was the case in his defence statement.
A spokesman for Moore and Anderson said:
"This matter is the subject of ongoing legal proceedings and our position remains that we are strongly defending the basis on which the tax fees are being sought.
"It is related in part to a separate claim of deceptive conduct by others that unfortunately contributed to the failure of the businesses in question.
"We would reiterate that all entitlements and benefits owing to our Australian employees were honoured in full."
Originally published as Tax office sues Bulldogs legends for millions