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Employee claims he’s owed $100,000 by Kiwi tech company in liquidation

16 Sep 2016

If you were owed $100k, you’d feel pretty aggrieved wouldn’t you?

Ex-employee of mobile payment company Optimizer HQ, Lawrence Sami certainly feels that way, as he has taken his claim of $60,826.91 in unpaid wages and $43,896.41 in holiday pay to the NZ Employment Relations Authority.

Optimizer HQ was run by Manas Kumar and previously operated the Swipe payment brand from February 2012. Optimizer HQ updated its name to ODEV Ltd in April 2013, however, employment correspondence (which included pay increases) were still sent to Sami under the name Optimizer HQ.

In 2014, Sami was owed wages and ended up entering into a share agreement with the company named Optimizer HQ in a substitute of wage arrears.

One year later and ODEV Ltd collapsed, with the liquidators revealing claims were likely to amount to around $11.3 million.

Insolvency practitioners Jared Booth and Tony Maginness were appointed as joint liquidators of the company.

The liquidators’ first report revealed preferential claims totaling $154,754 in relation to ODEV Ltd, with $59,043 of that from former employees, and the remaining $95,711 owed to the Inland Revenue Department.

“The liquidators have worked with relevant parties including the purchaser, banks and secured creditors to facilitate the ongoing payment of monies due to merchants under the payment services,” the report says.

In the report filed by the Employment Relations Authority, Member of Authority, T G Tetitaha states that they found Sami was employed by Optimizer HQ and not the now defunct ODEV Ltd, ordering Optimizer HQ to provide evidence that is related to the wage arrears claim.