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Opes Prime administrator collects from director's parents

THE parents of disgraced Opes Prime director Anthony Blumberg have paid the failed stock lender $340,000, part of $4.5 million hauled in by the company's administrator earlier this year.

THE parents of disgraced Opes Prime director Anthony Blumberg have paid the failed stock lender $340,000, part of $4.5 million hauled in by the company's administrator earlier this year.

Accounts filed by Opes Prime's administrator, John Lindholm of Ferrier Hodgson, show the single biggest payment collected in the six months from February to July was about $3.5 million, representing a payout from Opes Prime's investment in power management company Energy Response.

Former Opes Prime staff also made payments totalling about $5000.

Mr Lindholm filed the accounts in his role as administrator of a scheme of arrangement under which Opes Prime's bankers, ANZ and Merrill Lynch, have so far paid 37? in the dollar to former customers owed about $610 million.

The accounts list the $340,200 received from Basil and Carole Blumberg on June 10 as "accounts receivable (pre-appointment)".

It is believed the money is the proceeds of the sale of a unit at the Brighton on Bay retirement village bought by the couple in March 2008, just before Opes Prime's collapse.

Ferrier Hodgson and the Blumbergs had been locked in a dispute over the unit, with the insolvency firm insisting the unit was bought using money from a company in the Opes Prime group, Leveraged Capital.

A receptionist at the Brighton on Bay retirement village said the couple had purchased the unit but had never actually moved into it. A $3.5 million payment from Energy Response was the proceeds of the sale of the company to US group EnerNOC in early July, Energy Response's executive director Ross Fraser said.

He said Opes Prime's private equity arm, Hawkswood, "invested in Energy Response a number of years ago".

"They therefore received a payment for those shares when EnerNOC took over the company," he said.


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