The controversy over two old houses catching fire on a block for a Brisbane townhouse development came at a bad time for the developer – leading real estate investor Sasha Hopkins.
- Sasha Hopkins owns a business that went into administration last year and owes around $ 9 million to at least 70 creditors
- An investigation is underway into how the two homes caught fire within days of each other in a Brisbane development
- There is no suggestion that Mr. Hopkins has any connection to the fire
Mr. Hopkins, who is often portrayed in the media as a brilliant young “real estate guru”, spent months dealing with the collapse of the Victorian real estate development company Hunter Capital Investments Pty Ltd which he owned. created in 2018.
Hunter Capital Investments was developing five properties in Victoria when it took on administration last year, totaling around $ 9 million to 77 investors, according to the administrator’s latest report.
Mr Hopkins told directors the business collapse was due to the breakdown of a relationship between the company and a business partner whose loans the company had failed to repay.
Mr Hopkins has been involved in legal action to try to recover money he says is owed to the company which went into liquidation last month.
This week it faced new controversy when Queensland Police announced that “detectives are investigating a suspicious fire” at an old house at a development site in Hamilton, north Brisbane on Tuesday.
The blaze was the second on the block in three days.
On Sunday, another old wooden house on the block of Nudgee Road caught fire.
Both houses were to be renovated and incorporated into the townhouse development site owned by Delkins Project 1 Pty Ltd, according to planning documents from the Brisbane City Council (BCC).
Mr. Hopkins is listed as the sole director and shareholder of Delkins Project 1 Pty Ltd, which is also listed in the BCC documents as the developer of the site.
There is no suggestion that Mr. Hopkins has any connection to the fire.
ABC made multiple efforts to contact Mr. Hopkins this week, but all failed.
In the past, Mr. Hopkins has frequently given media interviews portraying himself as a very successful young real estate developer and investor.
Some media have portrayed him as a “high school dropout” who left home at 17 to build a $ 9 million real estate portfolio at the age of 29.
He has also introduced himself online as the CEO and founder of a very successful wealth and real estate mentoring company called The A Team Property Group.
Last year, the A Team Property Group Pty Ltd, of which Mr. Hopkins is the sole director and shareholder, was ranked by the Nine The Australian Financial Review (AFR) business journal at the top of its list of 100 companies to the fastest growing country.
AFR described the group as having achieved revenue of $ 8 million in fiscal 2019 and increased revenue at a compound average rate of 152% in the four fiscal years 2015 to 2016.
Millions owed to creditors
A report by a director for Hunter Capital Investments indicates that The A Team Property Group had sought investors for Hunter Capital Investments.
The administrator’s report, which was sent to creditors on May 14, also reveals that Hunter Capital Investments was supposed to seek investor funds for the five Victorian real estate developments from individual investors.
He said Mr. Hopkins disclosed that there were 79 unsecured creditors to the company who owed approximately $ 9,687,620 million.
Seventy-seven of the unsecured creditors were investors.
He also noted that The A Team Property Group Pty Ltd did not hold an Australian financial services license and had “offered financial advice to investors”.
The directors have stated to date that they have received 80 claims from unsecured creditors totaling $ 11,513,625 and that if interest were to be accrued, investor claims are estimated to be approximately $ 13,726,975.
Mr Hopkins told directors the company’s financial difficulties arose as a result of a relationship breakdown between himself and a business partner who was supposed to make repayments to the company.
A settlement deed had been negotiated between the parties with the business partner to make repayments to Hunter Capital Investments.
He also said the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted property valuations, increases in financial costs and monthly holding costs, which also contributed to the company’s financial difficulties.
Directors agreed with Mr. Hopkins but raised the issue of strategic mismanagement in obtaining commercial loans to entities of a business partner.
The report states that if the company goes into liquidation, creditors will receive about 49 cents on the dollar in a “bullish scenario and no return in a worst case scenario”.
The directors also said that preliminary investigations had identified that the relationship between the company and other entities associated with the director warrants further investigation.
“He tried to do the right thing”
On Thursday, one of the creditors contacted by the CBA said he did not blame Mr Hopkins for the business collapse.
He said he knew Mr Hopkins had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting a former business partner in an attempt to recover money for creditors.
“This had a detrimental effect on his [Mr Hopkins’] business. I don’t think it’s his fault. He tried to do the right thing.
“Investors are going to have to report it as a loss. That’s what I’m going to do.”
But another group of investors contacted by ABC said they were seeking legal advice regarding the recovery of their investments.
The CBA made several attempts to contact Mr Hopkins over the past two days.