Article Title:Ex-Hero CEO avoids media during stealthy visit
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or Credit:GayNZ.com News Staff
Published on:31st October 2003 - 12:00 pm
Published by:GayNZ.com
Story ID:2079
Text:The man accused of mismanaging Hero into financial collapse in 2001 has slipped in and back out of the country, carefully avoiding the gay media. Sean Lofts, the one-time chief executive of Hero, is accused, among other things, of falsifying financial accounts, misleading his board and presiding over poorly managed events including the canceled 2001 Style-Aid event and Hero Magazine, and the under-attended Masquerade Ball. As the financial chaos became unmanageable Lofts fled the country, later claiming through friends that he needed urgent medical treatment in Australia. He left without warning and is accused of deleting computer records and other irregularities. Hero was in debt to the tune of $140,000, and only in the past weeks has the debt been wiped by creditors after Hero was rescued through the intervention of a group of gay businesspeople. Ironically, Lofts was in Auckland over the past two weeks to try to help rescue the most recent incarnation of Style-Aid, being run without links to Hero by event organiser Lyn Parent and now postponed until late November. GayNZ.com made several attempts to speak with Lofts to hear his side of the Hero mismanagement allegations, including passing messages through his acquaintances and "staking out" the inner-city Auckland address where he was understood to be living and working on Style-Aid. Promoter Parent confirmed that Lofts was in town but initially denied Lofts was working with her on Style-Aid. However, Express newspaper editor Mike Binis has confirmed that a meeting set up to introduce him to Lofts failed to take place, though Binis waited an hour and a half at the appointed place and time. Binis says he also several times tried a phone number given to him by Lofts' associates, without success. Lofts is now understood to be back in Australia, where he has been reportedly living and operating businesses in Perth.    
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