Coast tycoon goes from Rich List to unemployed and bankrupt
IN 2011 Paul McDonald sold Moy Pocket Quarry to Boral for $81m. Today he is described as an unemployed farmer/labourer with an $8m debt to the Australian Tax Office and a trail of other creditors also in pursuit.
Asset transfers have left him with just 1% of a $3.5m Noosa Waters mansion now owned 99% by his wife.
The Ferrari and BMW are long gone and his Arctic Circle hi-jinks are a distant memory.
A claim for nearly $900,000 by the MCG Group Pty Ltd puts McDonald's bankruptcy at July 19, 2016, just five years after the quarry deal lined his pockets sufficiently for his company Fortrus Pastoral near Gympie to pay a world record $180,000 for Glenlands Prince, a Droughtmast sire, at the September, 2012, Glenlands Droughtmaster sale near Rockhampton.
Earlier that September in Cambridge Bay, an indigenous Nunavut community of 1500 people, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police boarded his 34 metre luxury yacht the Fortrus seizing $40,000 worth of alcohol and fireworks valued at $15,000.
McDonald was fined $5000 for the serving alcohol to a minor and a further $5000 for having alcohol "other than authorised" in a community where it was strictly controlled.
Reports at the time said he paid the fines with a $10,000 cheque which subsequently bounced.
The former BRW Rich Lister earlier this year sold for $1.6m a waterfront block of land adjacent the home now principally owned by his wife.
In late March this year the Australian Tax Office filed a Proof of Debt with Terry Van Der Velde and Jason Cronan, Trustees in Bankruptcy of the Bankrupt Estate of Paul Gerard McDonald seeking payment of $8,589,567.87 due as at April 17 this year.
The ATO claims that in the year ended June 30, 2012, McDonald declared a taxable income of just $2,953.
The ATO found his earnings for the period to be $8,075,090 leaving a total owing of $4,480,168.04 including $671,700.29 in shortfall interest.
His 2011 declared taxable income of $176,409 was also amended by the ATO to $917,953, leaving an amount of $423,380.88 owing an payable by April 17.
The tax shortfalls come with a further $3,686,018.95 in penalties payable by the same date.
Terry Rose of SV Partners representing the Trustees in Bankruptcy said McDonald's other major creditor was the MCG Group Pty Ltd but that may change.
Mr Rose said the trustees would examine any changes to assets and other transactions involving various related entities including Fortrus Pastoral and another quarry at Gympie.
Their investigations would include looking at any asset transfer and related party transactions.
Mr Rose said at this point there are two major claims from the ATO and MCG but their may ultimately be more.
"Investigations are still on foot," he said.
To date the trustees have successfully voided the May 2, 2014, transfer of McDonald's 49% stake in 24 The Anchorage to his wife Kaye Leanne McDonald and a mortgage granted over properties to Fortrus Australia valued at more than $16m.
The luxury waterfront home in The Anchorage was designed by renowned Noosa architect Paul Clout.
Paul and his brother Bill McDonald were Ballarat-born success stories who at one point were worth more than $210m after profiting heavily from the Australian resources boom.
Paul owned the Moy Pocket quarry, known as Sunshine Coast Quarries, outright pocketing $81.5m alone from the sale to Boral.
The company's 2010-11 financial year revenue was $32 million. At the time Mr McDonald's Noosaville property assets were estimated at $4.5m with further investments in mining and property development in the United States, China and South East Asia, China.
Mr McDonald is reported to have been a business maverick at his peak, purchasing MDL 162 for $275m from the Stanmore Corporation and then onselling a 90% stake in it two months later for $360m.
He attracted the attention of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when locals complained about a wild, boozy party on his seven-stateroom yacht where fire works were discharged and from which an under age girl was witnessed diving into the icy Beaufort Sea.
The vessel, which was conducting a circumnavigation of North America via the North West Passage passed via the Bering Strait into the Pacific Ocean on a southward passage to the Panama Canal.
At the time McDonald was 51-years-old and aside from his Moy Pocket windfall had investments in Evolve Polymer Products USA, Fortrus Quarries, Integra Concrete, Fortrus Sports, Fortrus Fisheries, Integra Resources, Visser Holdings, ML Property and the MCG Group of Companies which has secured an $880,000 judgment against him.
The Daily attempted to contact Mr McDonald for comment but had not received a response late yesterday.