Salim Mehajer arrives to the Downing Centre court in Sydney, Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  (AAP Image/David Moir) NO ARCHIVING
Salim Mehajer arrives to the Downing Centre court in Sydney, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (AAP Image/David Moir) NO ARCHIVING DAVID MOIR

Salim Mehajer’s companies facing administration

HE WAS labelled "non-stick" for his ability to emerge from legal scrapes unscathed.

But a vocal critic of Salim Mehajer has said the "stick may be coming off" after it emerged the property mogul and former politician is a whisker away from having two of his companies put into administration with creditors claiming they are owed almost $100 million. 

It's the latest in a run of bad news for Mr Mehajer who:

* has seen his council merged out of existence;

* been banned from standing for public office or being a company director;

* is facing a string of court appearances;

* faces the prospect of his sister Fatima going to jail;

* has the Australian Taxation Office pursuing him and his family for millions; and

* is estranged from his wife.

Irene Simms, an arch rival of Mr Mehajer's when they were both on Sydney's now-defunct Auburn council, told it all started at his lavish wedding in 2015.

The ceremony, which involved helicopters, a band of drummers and a fleet of sports cars, may have propelled Mr Mehajer to national fame, but it also put the focus on his business interests and the council.

"The love of the limelight will be his downfall and he's still got the limelight on him," she said.

Mr Mehajer had a torrid day in court on Tuesday after it was revealed that creditors are seeking more than $97 million from two of his companies, Sydney Project Group Pty Ltd and S.E.T. Services Pty Ltd. It was claimed the companies only have $32,000 in the bank.

Both companies had been put into administration by director Kenneth Lee. But Mr Mehajer argued that the administrators should not have been appointed following a 5.30am "meeting with himself" 12 hours earlier where he had replaced Mr Lee.

His counsel argued that as the sole shareholder of the firm, board meetings could be quite a solitary affair and Mr Mehajer had unanimously agreed with himself that his sister Khadijeh "Kat" Mehajer should take over from Mr Lee.

Kat was another Mehajer family member with a lavish wedding. Last year she married Ibrahim Sakalaki in a luxury mansion on the outskirts of Sydney accompanied by drummers and, you guessed it, fast cars. But in a possible sign of the new austerity of the Mehajers, the helicopters were missing.

Before his August 2015 wedding to Aysha Learmonth, Mr Mehajer was merely a colourful local politician and businessman. However, the sheer largesse of the ceremony, and the anger it caused neighbours who saw their street closed down to accommodate it, catapulted Mr Mehajer - and Auburn Council - to prominence.

For a time, there was Mehajer mayhem, as his celebrity status skyrocketed with US rappers casually dropping by his Lidcombe townhouse.

Peak Mehajer, perhaps, was the time he appeared on television professing his belief he could one day be Prime Minister.

Yet, within a few months, Mr Mehajer would have been suspended from his coveted role on council and soon after the decision was overturned there would be no council to return to.

"The wedding brought the spotlight onto Auburn and it created his profile but it's not been a positive one. He's still got the limelight on him and I didn't know if it's smart or it's just very stupid. He really is a d***head," Ms Simms said.

Mr Mehajer has been contacted for comment.

One of his recent run ins with the law relates to allegations of vote rigging in the 2012 local council elections, around three years before his wedding.

In March, NSW Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton described Mr Mehajer's nuptials as "over-the-top" and said it was "the wedding that killed the council" after Auburn was axed and its territory divided between its neighbours.

Following an inquiry into the conduct at Auburn, Ms Upton said, "petty rivalries, unruly and childish behaviour in council meetings and shoddy practices must be banished from our councils forever."

Nevertheless, the inquiry had no adverse findings against Mr Mehajer aside from noting that a street should never have been closed for his wedding.

In fact, Mr Mehajer has had very few findings - legal or otherwise - go against him.

It led Mr Sims to dub him "Mr Teflon"

Mr Mehajer has not emerged completely unscathed. In 2016, the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) banned Mr Mehajer from running companies for three years, a move that also prevented him running for political office.

But last month, he revealed he would be looking for ASIC to give him special dispensation to allow him to run in September's elections for Cumberland Council, that now incorporates Auburn.

"I may be returning with little notice," he told the Daily Telegraph.

Ms Simms - who said she would be standing in the upcoming Cumberland elections - said it was a real possibility that Mr Mehajer, and his acolytes, could be on the voting slip.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see a 'Team Mehajer' and I can imagine he'll call it that because of his arrogance."

But his woes are mounting with Ms Simms telling, "maybe the stick is coming off. Maybe the Teflon has been scratched too many times?

"But I'll believe when I see it," she added.

Ms Simms said there were "no signs of life" in a recently completed apartment complex connected to Mr Mehajer, despite the website stating residents could move in from "early 2017".

There also haven't been any recent snaps of music stars at this Lidcombe residence. "No one comes to stay in his crib anymore," Ms Simms said.

Earlier this month another Mehajer sister, Elkhier, pleaded guilty to 77 charges of giving false or misleading information relating to the 2012 Auburn Council elections. The remaining charges were withdrawn.

Mr Mehajer is facing 128 charges over the same election.

Just this week, Mr Mehajer is due in court no less than four times, including a Supreme Court decision about the future of his companies.

The judge warned Kat, Mr Mehajer's sister, that she could put herself in a perilous position becoming a director of one his firms given she had "no experience" managing companies and could be liable if they trade while insolvent.

Mr Mehajer's downfall has been predicted, and avoided, many times over.

However, with his finances and his conduct during the elections under scrutiny, there are some very sticky spots coming up that "Mr Teflon" will want to escape from.

News Corp Australia

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