Chopperworks custom motorcycle shop owner on the run from bikies as liquidation leaves them out of pocket up to $2m
From: The Courier-Mail
June 29, 2012
A MOTORCYCLE shop owner is on the run after his business collapse allegedly left customers, including prominent bikie club presidents, as much as $2 million out of pocket.
Chopperworks owner Jeffrey Brian Richardson, 42, and his family have fled their Chermside West home after claiming a man visited a relative on Monday night threatening them with the arrival of an interstate hitman.
Customers left in the lurch include senior figures from the Hells Angels, Rebels and Bandidos outlaw motorcycle clubs.
Among them is Gold Coast Bandidos president Sava Cvetkovic, who is said to have been a calming influence on a number of bikies furious at being ripped off.
The Courier-Mail understands Chopperworks allegedly sold as many as 30 custom motorcycles, worth around $70,000 each, it held in its showroom without telling customers.
"It's not so much the money they care about, it's the principle," a source said. "They want their bikes."
Business associates left handling Chopperworks' affairs since Mr Richardson declared insolvency and appointed liquidators on Tuesday have been peppered with death threats in more than 100 phone calls.
A senior Bandido from Canberra reportedly obtained his motorcycle after threatening to shatter the glass shopfront of Chopperworks' Albion shop by firing ball bearings from a gun.
A Queensland police detective and security guards accompanied staff from liquidator Vincents Chartered Accountants who took stock of Chopperworks' remaining inventory at Albion yesterday.
Vincents' Peter Dinoris said a number of motorcycles had been released to customers who were able to prove ownership but many more were out of pocket after paying for work that wasn't carried out.
"It doesn't look like there's a substantial amount of assets there," he said.
Liquidators are trying to piece together Chopperworks' accounts through invoices after its computer server disappeared.
Security records allegedly show Mr Richardson, who has Chopperworks' franchises in Emerald and Canberra, left the Albion shop on Tuesday morning after the locks were changed and keys mailed to the liquidator.
Mr Dinoris said Vincents had been unable to contact Mr Richardson or his family since.