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Renshaw Edwards fallout continues

By Ray Lilley

Friday 30th June 2000

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An Upper Hutt accountant struck off for his poor auditing of the trust accounts of Upper Hutt's $20 million legal fraudsters Patrick Renshaw and Keith Edwards is fighting his own bankruptcy, with a good chance of initial success.

Accountant Kenneth Robert Clark, known as Bob Clark, may force Inland Revenue to go back to square one in its efforts to claim $141,000.

He was wrongly identified as Keith Robert Clark in the formal bankruptcy documents.

Mr Clark has applied to have the bankruptcy order annulled because Inland Revenue failed to follow due process and the bankruptcy notice failed to identify him.

Such an error over a "legal entity" (individual person) is regarded as serious, as bankruptcy means a major change of status for the affected person.

Legal sources expect the IRD's flawed proceedings will have to be refiled.

Some weeks before Keith Clark was declared bankrupt, Bob Clark was offering his $500,000-a-year fee income business for sale for at least $250,000 to local accountants.

Accounting sources said if the bankruptcy proceedings are confirmed, the IRD will have first call on the sale proceeds unless the debt is income tax.

Mr Clark was fined for professional incompetence over his audit of law firm partners Renshaw and Edwards, who between them stole as much as $20 million of client money for property speculation and gambling.

He spent more than $19,000 unsuccessfully defending the charges brought by the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Sole holder of Clark's Accounting Services Ltd's 5000 shares and its only director, Mr Clark changed his business trading name from Clark's Chartered Accountants when he was struck of by the institute two years ago.

He had previously practised as Clark Fitzgerald and Co.

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