Failed Brisbane businessman Damian Griffiths, who owes creditors $30 million, has been living the high life in London and renting out two apartments he owns in Paris.
Griffiths once owned 30 Doughnut Time outlets in Australia before going bust and leaving hundreds of workers with unpaid wages and superannuation.
Investigators working for NewsCorp found Griffiths has started a new life in the UK, photographing him outside a Doughnut Time store located on Shaftesbury Avenue, in the West End theatre district.
New house, new car and two Paris apartments
According to the NewsCorp investigation, Griffiths has set up home in Hackney, in East London, and drives a silver Peugeot 307 CC.
He owns two Paris flats, worth up to $1.3 million, which he rents out for a combined $3,400 a week, despite declaring bankruptcy in Australia.
An American couple, who were Airbnb guests at one of Griffiths’ apartments in Paris, claimed they were left waiting for hours trying to get into the flat, despite paying 150 euros for the night.
“We finally gave up and we went and stayed in a hotel that night and then finally got in the next day into our place,” the guest, who asked not to be named, said.
“We were fortunate to get a hotel. His phone number is an Australian phone number, it was very confusing.”
The Doughnut Time debacle
Griffiths once had Doughnut Time stores in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, but went into liquidation in 2018 with staff losing their jobs and owed $200,000 in wages and superannuation.
Griffiths declared bankruptcy at the time.
Doughnut Time has 12 stores currently operating in the UK, selling $8 hipster doughnuts, with names like the Ice Ice Bae Bae and the the Chris Hemsworthy.
Dodgy Damian repays creditors just 4 cents in the dollar
Mr Griffiths also once owned a string of restaurants in Brisbane, but was taken to court and fined after customers saw rats running through one of the venues.
In November 2017, the Australian Taxation Office sought Federal Court orders to wind up his Bubbles Bar & Bistro company over an alleged debt of $423,491.
In December 2017, receivers seized control of two of his venues – Limes Hotel and Alfred & Constance Bar.
At the same time, his aunt and cousin commenced legal action to recover $555,900 he allegedly owed them from a loan to help him acquire the Limes Hotel.
In February 2018, Bubbles Bar & Bistro went into liquidation after a scathing administrator’s report which claimed the company – which collapsed with $1.32 million in debts – “may have been insolvent from as early as December 2015”.
In May this year, creditors agreed to accept a pathetic offer of just $129, 500 from Griffiths – despite him owing nearly $30 million across all his entities – to end his personal bankruptcy.
The payment worked out to be just 4 cents in the dollar.
Griffiths is a disgrace
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Fair Work Claims said he was appalled by Mr Griffiths’ conduct.
“Damian Griffiths is a disgrace – he has left a litany of failed businesses behind him, leaving his workers and own family to pay the price,” he said.
“How is it possible that this low life, who owed creditors $30 million in Australia, can get away with paying just 4 cents in the dollar – while owning two apartments in Paris?
“Griffiths clearly has no conscience – he should be banned from ever running a business again, so he can’t go on ruining other people’s lives.”
Mr Heffernan said the dudded workers from Doughnut Time in Australia received some of what they were owed courtesy of the taxpayer.
“Workers have a safety net called the Fair Entitlements Guarantee, which means if a company goes bust, the federal government will step in and pay some of the outstanding wages – so where Griffiths shirked his responsibilities. we as taxpayers had to step in to make sure the workers weren’t left completely out of pocket, ” he said.
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