Firepower chief Tim Johnston has blamed Australia's corporate watchdog for the loss of his $17,000-a-month job with London-based company Green Power.
The reclusive Mr Johnston now holds grave doubts that Green Power, which is backed by businessman and convicted heroin dealer Frank Timis, will be able to return any money to more than 1000 Firepower shareholders who collectively lost up to $100 million when the group collapsed in 2008.
Mr Johnston talked exclusively to The West Australian from Queensland yesterday, where he has been living since he returned to Australia in November 2009.
Just days after he flew into Australia from Singapore, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission won Federal Court orders which required him to hand over his passport and not leave the country.
He had previously claimed Green Power, which had acquired the intellectual rights to Firepower's range of fuel additives, would look after shareholders who lost money in Firepower.
But yesterday, Mr Johnston confirmed that Green Power had terminated his consultancy, effective as of May 1.
"I'm very disappointed and shocked," he said.
"I have a serious concern on behalf of the shareholders.
"My role in Green Power was to travel and introduce them to all of the Firepower clients around the world.
"It's pretty hard to do that when you haven't got a passport to travel.
"I'm very frustrated with ASIC because it is hurting so many people and I don't know what the future holds now."
Mr Johnston, who is understood to have a shareholding in Green Power, was examined in the Federal Court in Perth in December and January by lawyers for both Firepower liquidator Bryan Hughes and ASIC.
Mr Johnston said ASIC had since refused to give him any schedule for the completion of its investigation.
He said he hoped Mr Timis and his consultant Chris Shelley would ensure Green Power's success, but he was frustrated at being unable to help and at the loss of his consultancy.
"I know I've got to get out there to promote the company on behalf of shareholders, but I can't do that sitting here in Australia," Mr Johnston said.
Mr Hughes said investigations into Firepower were continuing, but he did not expect to apply to the Federal Court to examine Mr Johnston further.
He smiled a lot. He kicked goals. He could occasionally also get himself into trouble.