Friday night’s bankruptcy filing by Zetta Jet USA, Inc., first reported by Private Jet Card Comparisons, comes one week after a separate lawsuit filed by the founders Advanced Aircraft Management, Inc., and Anglo American Jet Charter, Inc., the two companies that became Zetta Jet USA, Inc. after their sale to Singapore-based Zetta Jet Pte. Ltd.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California, alleges Geoffrey Cassidy, the managing director of “using company funds and assets for personal purchases and free transportation; taking illegal kickbacks of funds from aircraft acquisitions that rightfully belong to the company; and destroying business goodwill and reputation.” The defendants could not be reached for comment. In addition to Cassidy, his wife Miranda June Tang, who allegedly served as an executive and on the board and Asia Aviation Holdings Pte. Ltd. are named.
According to court documents (link to complaint at end of this article), James Seagrim and Matthew Walter, each owned one-third of Zetta Jet Pte. Ltd. after selling their interest in their existing companies on Aug. 11, 2016, with Cassidy and Tang apparently controlling the other third via Asia Aviation Holding Pte. Ltd., allegedly owned by the defendants.
(Editor’s Note: AINOnline is reporting that Cassidy and majority shareholders have obtained an injunction to thwart the bankruptcy filing in Singapore’s High Court).
In the 24 page complaint obtained by Private Jet Card Comparisons, the plaintiffs say that Cassidy and Tang were relieved of their duties after an August 17, 2017, board meeting in Hong Kong. The lawsuit accuses the former managing director of “using company funds to purchase and/or renovate personal property including boats and related items valued conservatively at between $3 million and $10 million, such as a Maritimo M70 cruising motoryacht called the ‘Dragon Pearl’ and a Couach cruising motoryacht called ‘Nyota.’”
The lawsuit also alleges “funds to purchase and renovate real estate, including homes in France and Singapore” were used without knowledge or consent of the Board and the defendants. Company monies, it is alleged, were used to buy at least three luxury automobiles in Singapore valued between $2 million and $3 million.
The complaint goes on to say Cassidy “without the knowledge or consent” of the plaintiffs and the board hosted extravagant gatherings costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in restaurants, bars, and social clubs in global locations including Monaco, Los Angeles, and Macao. It also alleges Cassidy lived a high-flying lifestyle using company jets for over 300 hours of personal trips without reimbursing the company.
Among the most tawdry of the allegations is that Cassidy made a secret deal with Jetcraft, a Singapore-based aircraft broker, from which he “received an illegal kickback of approximately $2 million from each aircraft purchased.
Overall, the lawsuit alleges embezzlement and misappropriation as much as $30 million.
The lawsuit is asking for actual damages according to proof at trial; for compensatory damages; for restitution, disgorgement of all illicit proceeds generated as a result of the wrongful conduct alleged herein; for punitive and exemplary damages; for treble damages; for attorneys fees; for costs of suit; for appropriate equitable relief, including any injunctive or declaratory relief; for pre-judgment interest; and for such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.
At the same time, Zetta Jet says that it will continue normal operations, and issued the following statement to Private Jet Card Comparisons:
“On September 15, 2017, Zetta Jet USA and Zetta Jet Pte. Ltd. filed Chapter 11 bankruptcies in an effort to restructure their debt.
“As we utilize the Chapter 11 process to address our debt, we will continue to run our business just as we always have. Our customers should expect to receive the same high levels of service, meticulous attention to safety and access to the same luxurious aircraft that have made Zetta Jet their air travel partner of choice. The steps we took on September 15th are designed to ensure the long-term viability of our Company and we look forward to being a good business partner to our suppliers and brokers for many years to come.”
In just over two years, Zetta Jet had made its mark by offering a long-haul luxury private jet product. The company promises, “The embodiment of Asia’s attentive service philosophy.” Its website says, “Zetta Jet’s hand-picked team of In-flight Concierges
deliver a white glove service that knows no bounds.”
The full lawsuit can be found at the link below: