Turning back the Glock on history of COVID security firm
When Luigi Trunzo's Unified Security emerged from administration the first time, it sold all its assets - including four Glock pistols - to itself for $20,000.
The second time it came back from the brink, unsecured creditors owed $1.4 million got just 3.7 cents in the dollar.
Mr Trunzo is the 49 per cent owner of Sydney-based Unified, the company which is caught up in the Melbourne hotel quarantine disaster that has again put the nation on the back foot in the battle against coronavirus.
In the 1990s he was the Australian agent for a US company seeking to import bulletproof glass for vehicles (pictured below). But there wasn't enough demand.
He told The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday he had worked hard his whole life to identify opportunities and build good businesses.
"Some have been successful while unfortunately others have not," Mr Trunzo said. "I have learnt important lessons from both.
"Most Australians applaud people who have a go, work hard, deal with adversity and build businesses that create jobs for Australians. So it has been disappointing that my business has been subjected to a campaign of lies and innuendo.
"We are being undermined and besmirched because we continue to grow our client base in the Australian market which is dominated by foreign-owned multinationals whose profits flow straight back to China and India."
On its website, Unified describes itself as "wholly Australian and Indigenous-owned." Mr Trunzo was born in NSW. His parents are from Italy.
The company is however certified as Indigenous-owned through the heritage of 51 per cent shareholder David Millward, who trained rugby league bad boy John Hopoate to the Australian heavyweight boxing title.
That certification requires at least half of a business to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander owned.
Mr Trunzo, who drives a Lamborghini and lives in what may be the most expensive house in Earlwood, is not currently a director of Unified Security.
But he was between 1997 and 2005 and again from 2007 to 2015.
A 2002 deed of company arrangement executed while Unified Security Group Pty Limited was in administration saw it sell its assets to Unified Security Group (Aust) Pty Limited, including four Glock 9mm pistols and another gun, as well as computers, printers, a scanner, at least 12 armchairs, a TV, fridge, boardroom table, filing cabinets, safe, two-way radios and an alarm system.
The physical assets were sold to the new Unified company for $20,000.
That new Unified company called in administrators in 2008.
In 2012, that company's administrator reported 12 unsecured creditors owed a total of $1.4 million would receive $51,000 between them. The largest creditor was the Australian Taxation Office, owed about $852,000.
Next was the NSW Office of State Revenue, whose debt was about $264,000.
The ATO was also a creditor in the 2002 restructuring, although the amount owed is unknown.
Unified was one of the companies that provided security at Carlton's Rydges on Swanston, where many guards and their contacts were infected. The NSW Government has also hired the company to help guard a Sydney serviced apartment complex that is full of international arrivals. Yesterday the company defended the performance of its guards, who earn as little as $19.84 an hour.
Victorian authorities have said all the state's recent cases could be linked to hotel quarantine outbreaks.
Originally published as Turning back the Glock on history of COVID security firm