Controversial Sydney businessman Salim Mehajer has been declared bankrupt by a Federal Circuit Court judge after one of his companies failed to pay a debt of over $200,000 to its creditors.
The petitioning creditor for the bankruptcy order was the liquidator of Mehajer’s property development business, SM Project Developments.
Other creditors, including the Australian Taxation Office and the company which built a staircase at his lavish Lidcombe home, supported the application.
Judge Justin Smith on Tuesday rejected his lawyer’s argument that the bankruptcy notice was invalid.
The order means Mehajer’s multi-million-dollar estate will be managed by a trustee who will take control of his property and financial affairs – and deal with his creditors.
Legal costs of the bankruptcy application totally $20,524 will also come out of his estate.
The bankruptcy order comes as the 31-year-old faces a string of criminal charges.
He is currently behind bars awaiting trial after allegedly faking a car crash to avoid a court appearance over the assault of a taxi driver.
Mehajer was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after he threw an EPTPOS machine at the driver’s face outside Sydney’s Star casino in April last year.
He is accused of staging the car crash to avoid court over the matter – and defrauding an insurance company after he insured his Mercedes for over $150,000.
During a bail hearing last month, Mehajer said his situation was ‘an absolute mess’, with frozen bank accounts affecting his business, family, employees and investors.
Being incarcerated and having only one phone call a day was making it ‘ever so difficult’ to turn his fortunes around, Mehajer said.
‘I am here between four walls and letting everything collapse… this is going to be a catastrophe,’ he predicted.
Mehajer could face a lengthy jail term if convicted of perverting the course of justice and conspiring to cheat and defraud over the alleged staged crash.
Perverting the course of justice attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
The businessman was also last month found guilty of assaulting Channel Seven journalist Laura Banks.
The incident took place outside Day Street police station on April 2 last year, where Mehajer had been taken early that morning following the taxi driver incident.
Ms Banks had been standing in the doorway of a Porsche trying to quiz Mehajer when he slammed the car door against her.
He was found guilty of assault occasioning bodily over the incident, which left her with hand and back injuries.
A fellow prisoner at Silverwater Correctional Centre recently claimed Mehajer is being mocked by other inmates for being ‘high maintenance’ as he awaits trail in jail.
‘It could be just a joke, but in my experience being called high-maintenance is a sure sign of disrespect,’ a former inmate told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘From my perspective, because he is well-known, someone might be trying to get under his skin and find a weakness in him.’
Mehajer will remain behind bars until his matter is heard on March 28.