Bailey also accused the company of sloppy bookkeeping, saying it was “obviously clear” that it had failed to keep adequate books and records as required by law.
A personal trainer, Istomin has worked with celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman.
He also developed the F45 regimen of 45-minute high-intensity interval and circuit training classes based on the motto: “no mirrors, no microphones, no ego.”
Istomin did not respond to The Herald of the Sun‘s questions. But he spoke of the turmoil engulfing F45, the company he founded in 2013 with Rob Deutsch but left in 2016. Istomin went on to set up his own fitness company, Reunion Training.
Shares of F45, which is backed by actor Mark Wahlberg, plunged on Wall Street in late July after the company scaled back expansion plans, cut jobs and announced the departure of chief executive Adam Gilchrist.
“I think they bit off more than they can chew,” Istomin said in response to the commotion inside the F45.
The financial troubles engulfing Istomin’s gym business come as United Workers Union, which represents health and fitness professionals, has called for tougher regulation of labor hire licenses and the fitness industry.
UWU Director of Allied Industries Godfrey Moase said it was a breach of an employer’s duty to ask staff to forgo wages because of cash flow problems: “If you can’t afford to pay wages, then you cannot afford to be in business.
Bailey told creditors he was investigating whether Reunion Training chief executive Simon Philis was a shadow director given his influence over the company’s affairs.
Last year, Philis told the Daily Mail he had lost 29 kilograms in 14 months as a result of the company’s exercise and nutrition programme.
Bailey said he believes the company has been insolvent since its incorporation in February 2020, suffering ongoing losses and owing more than half a million dollars in federal and state taxes.
Istomin can be liable for all of the company’s debts of $2.6 million if it is shown that the company was insolvent since its inception and if he was responsible for it. Philis could also be held responsible if he is found to be a shadow director.
“I intend to report the material violations identified in this report to ASIC shortly,” Bailey said.
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