Wang declared bankrupt

Johnson and Phynia Wang, founders of collapsed computer wholesaler Edge and failed ISP eisa, were declared bankrupt in the Federal Court Tuesday in the face of "overwhelming" evidence against them.

Being held personally liable for more than $36 million, the couple fled the country in June to avoid the wrath of creditors. The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that neither appeared in court to contest the proceedings after an application to give evidence via video-link from Hong Kong was denied earlier this month.

The Wangs left behind a mere $800 000 in assets including two Queensland apartments and a house in Sydney's Killara, which will be paid out to the Edge estate.

Thousands of resellers, dealers and service providers were left out in the cold by the swift and sudden collapse of Edge which, in its prime was the largest whitebox computer vendor in Australia. The most plausible cause of its decline points to spiralling debts illustrated by Edge's failed North American operations in 1999. At the same time, Edge was sustaining considerable damage from a Supreme Court writ of more than $12 million from Microsoft who was attempting to recover unpaid software licensing fees.

The fate of Wang's ISP was a little less devastating -- eisa's 80,000 subscribers and remaining physical assets were absorbed by pay TV and Internet service provider Austar in a $13 million take-over bid in early October. As eisa's only secured creditor on a $7.5 million loan, Austar had already taken possession of the eisa's Canberra, Darwin and Cairns operations.

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