An imported McLaren P1 supercar signed by Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo was sold as part of the liquidation of a Griffith winery that has gone into administration, an exclusive Region investigation has revealed.
Aaron Salvestrin launched the winery Sans Pareil Estate in Hanwood in 2018. The company went into liquidation in October 2022.
In the Sydney-based insolvency firm Chifley Advisory’s report to creditors obtained by Region, the winery allegedly owes the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) more than $32 million.
Chifley Advisory is currently selling assets owned by Mr Salvestrin and the company, with proceeds eventually going to creditors.
The liquidator’s January 2023 report to creditors indicated that a 2014 McLaren P1 supercar was sold for $1,475,000, with funds realised in liquidation bank accounts.
The website exclusivecarregistry.com states the door sill of the vehicle was signed by Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo, a fact confirmed by several sources close to the winery.
The luxury sports car utilises hybrid power and Formula One technology, reaching a maximum speed of 350 km per hour. Only 375 P1 cars have ever been made. Mr Salvestrin’s car was imported from Hong Kong and is understood to be just one of a handful ever seen in Australia.
The January report to creditors also indicates that Chifley Advisory was “unable to sell” several assets due to “restricted access” by Aaron’s parents, Dennis and Annette Maree, including a John Deere tractor, a Mazda BT50 diesel ute and an electric pallet jack.
Aaron Salvestrin was due to face a Supreme Court hearing at the Law Court Building in Sydney regarding matters concerning his company’s liquidation on Monday (18 September); however, the courtrooms suffered a “major flooding event”, resulting in the entire building being closed for a week from Monday.
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court said the situation was “fluid”, with hearings either moved to other courtrooms or delayed for at least seven days.
As of Monday, no new date has been scheduled for the Sans Pareil Estate hearing, which is in the civil jurisdiction, meaning it relates to money or property and is not a criminal matter.
Ahead of the now-delayed court hearing, lawyers for the liquidator submitted a “points of claim” document to the court, which is a summary of facts supporting their case.
This document, obtained by Region, revealed the ATO issued an audit report expressing its view that Sans Pareil Estate lodged fictitious BAS to the ATO and made “inflated and fictitious claims” for GST refunds in respect of GST payments, which it never made between July 2020 and September 2020.
A BAS is a form registered businesses must submit to the ATO reporting their tax obligations. When lodging a BAS, companies can claim a refund on GST for goods purchased for export overseas because the 10 per cent tax only applies to items consumed within Australia.
Sans Pareil Estate allegedly received GST refund payments of approximately $17,161,679 more than they ought to have received.
As at February 2023, the winery was alleged to owe the ATO $32,604,461, which included penalties and interest.
Mr Salvestrin launched Sans Pareil, which is French for “without equal”, at the age of just 24. He credited TAFE NSW, where he completed a Certificate III in Wine Operation, with helping him create a platform for success in the ultra-competitive industry.
Region has attempted to contact Mr Salvestrin. A mobile phone number he previously used now goes straight to message bank. The Sans Pareil website is no longer active and the winery’s landline is no longer connected.
The ATO has declined to comment on the matter.
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Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.