Recent Blog Posts

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Hakan Kutup sentenced to 21 months jail – victims delight

Convicted criminal Hakan Kutup

Hakan Kutup, former Wollongong Real Estate Agent has been sentenced to jail for crimes he pleaded guilty to in Wollongong Local Court on 13 July 2020.

Mark Smith of DCP Litigation reported the crimes to NSW Police in 2019 and Hakan was promptly arrested.

To view the newspaper article of Hakan’s sentencing click here: Young Witness

Hakan repaid none of the money defrauded from the victim. Civil enforcement and other actions continue against Hakan’s daughter Jeyda Kutup, Eren Kutup (Hakan’s nephew) and others to come. Civil proceedings

Some of Hakan’s and Jeyda’s former rent roll ended up under the management of Lindsay Begley at Ray White Unanderra. Lindsay Begley was contacted by DCP Litigation but failed to pay any money to the creditors of Hakan for the rent roll. Civil investigations continue.

Watch this space.

Jeyda Kutup
Jeyda Kutup
Eren Kutup
Eren Kutup
Lindsay Begley – Ray White Unanderra
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Caernarvon Cherry – employee class action

wage theft

Wage theft has been in the news in recent months with some State governments enacting laws to assist employees who have been the victim of wage theft.   

DCP has been approached by a number of people formerly employed at a company named Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd (possibly better known as Biteriot Cherry’s or Biteriot Apples (recently re-birthed as Biteriot Operations Pty Ltd)) of 474 Canobolas Rd, Orange (Biteriot).

Biteriot is presently being sued in the Federal Circuit Court (case SYG3175) for a case of alleged wage theft and other former employees may also be entitled to receive money?  Caernarvon is defending the case with the assistance of the NSW Farmers Federation. Caernarvon Cherry is operated by its Directors, Bernard and Fiona Hall. Fiona Hall was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship.

DCP Litigation has been asked to assemble a class action to claim allegedly underpaid wages – which is separate from another class action being finalised for allegedly ripped off farmers.

DCP Litigation is an associated company. We will shortly be announcing we have obtained the use of an AFSL in order to lawfully undertake class action and public litigation funding. More information to follow in a separate post.

Below are some articles explaining the serious issue of Wage Theft. Concerningly, Biteriot employed a number of persons convicted of fraud / criminal offences – including its former paymistress – Paula Neill and Accountant Bruce Johnston.

To sign up to the class action as an employee/victim click here: https://share.hsforms.com/1j9KAqztTSoWDhB2KOZx-tg2uveq

To go to our seperate farmer’s class action page click here.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email us on class-actions@dcpartners.solution or live chat with us on this webpage – click in the bottom corner to livechat now.

Regards

Mark Smith, Director

PS.  If you prefer to raise your concerns about underpayment with the company itself, please email its director Fiona Hall on …. info@biteriot.com.au or call the company on (02) 6365 3477.  

Wage theft articles 

  1. Australian Unions article – https://www.australianunions.org.au/wage_theft_factsheet
  2. Victorian Government wage theft announcement – https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/new-laws-to-crack-down-on-wage-theft/
  3. Redfern Legal Centre blog – https://rlc.org.au/article/short-what-do-if-you-are-experiencing-wage-theft
  4. What to do if you are a victim of wage theft – https://rlc.org.au/article/short-what-do-if-you-are-experiencing-wage-theft
  5. Fairwork Commission video – https://youtu.be/9DdCc2qQeow
  6. ‘Like torture’: Australia’s wage theft epidemic runs deeper than recent headlines – https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/work/2020/02/21/wage-theft-analysis/
  7. Underpaid (English language) – https://rlc.org.au/publication/factsheet-no3-underpaid-work
  8. Underpaid (Chinese language) – https://rlc.org.au/publication/factsheet-no3-underpaid-work-chinese-simple
  9. Paula Neill – Caernarvon pay-mistress profile: https://www.westernadvocate.com.au/story/1546606/woman-ordered-to-pay-back-thousands/
  10. Bruce Johnston – Caernarvon accountant profile: https://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/4571593/gambler-jailed-after-losing-supreme-court-appeal/
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Case study – the covid ate the estate agent’s homework?

Dog ate my homework

DC Partners (Solutions) Pty Ltd working with a financier client recently had collections dealing with an estate agent where the agent alleged it could not pay ‘factored monies’ because of Covid-19.

In December 2019, the agent factored its rent-roll management cheque for March 2020, expecting to receive around $52,000.

Factoring is the business of purchasing accounts receivables.

In this instance, the estate agent ‘sold’ its March 2020 receivable in exchange for an upfront sum paid in December 2019.

At the end of March 2020, the agent then said it was unable to repay the factor the money (or any of it, despite banking it for themselves at the end of March) “because of Covid-19“.

Factoring ‘discounts’ the purchase price of the receivable. The price paid upfront in December 2019, was based upon the time value of money with the expectations that the funds would be banked in March 2020. Obviously, the funds do not have the same value if the funds are not banked until June or later.

The agent is a well known agent from WA.

If a crime was committed, it was a crime of fraudulent appropriation. Alternatively, as was pointed out to the agent in collections discussions, the agent runs the very real risk that the estate agent continues to trade whilst insolvent, exposing the directors to personal liability. In those instances the agent’s personal assets are exposed to creditors.

If your business is in a similar position, being unable to meet obligations to creditors, there are some important steps that you and your company need to take to protect your personal AND business assets. These can be discussed on 1300-327123 if you find yourself if this position (call anytime till late 5 days).

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Case study – agent forges trust account and sales records

DC Partners (Solutions) Pty Ltd working with a financier client recently uncovered evidence that an estate agent forged evidence of sales to gain a financial advantage borrowing against the agent’s family home and alleged accounts receivable commissions.

The sum of the financial advantage (Fraud) involved was in excess of $100,000.

Amongst other things, the agent inflated the sale value of the property by $1m, inserting a “$1,____,____” in front of the advertised sale price and attempted to represent that the property sold for well in excess of the sum that it did and that the agent was therefore owed a commission of approximately 3x time the sum the agent was actually entitled to.

The agent sought to obtain an advance against the said “higher” commission owed from a factoring company.

Factoring companies ‘purchase’ accounts receivable from businesses.

A commission owed by a vendor is an accounts receivable that becomes due and payable to the agent at the time the sale settles.

In this instance the property did in fact settle but the sale was at its real sale price and not the inflated price.

The crime was detected and the matter has been dealt with civilly at this time with the agent involved making good the wrongdoing.

The agent is a well known agent from the Hunter Valley area of NSW.

The crimes were discovered in early 2020.

DC Partners (Solutions) Pty Ltd says the finding highlight the stress and financial pressure that estate agents are finding themselves in and the lengths that persons in financial stress may go to when they are not thinking clearly.

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Case study – real estate agent forges wife’s signature

DC Partners (Solutions) Pty Ltd working with a financier client recently uncovered evidence that the agent forged his wife’s signature to gain a financial advantage borrowing against his family home.

The agent was a well known agent from the Liverpool area of NSW.

The agent has since become personally bankrupt and the agency wound-up in insolvency.

The crimes were discovered in late 2019.

DC Partners (Solutions) Pty Ltd says the finding highlight the stress and financial pressure that estate agents can find themselves in and the lengths when persons are not thinking clearly that they might go to.

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Hakan Kutup – pleads guilty

Hakan Kutup, source: Illawarra Star - Madeline Crittenden.

As we’ve blogging for some time, now disgraced Wollongong based former Century 21 real estate agent Hakan Kutup has pleaded guilty to fraud, forgery and misappropriation offences at the Wollongong Local Court recently.

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported: Click here that Hakan began inventing sales in late 2017 however the slippery slope caught up with him when arrested in late 2019 after he could no longer shuffle the deck chairs and lenders and others began to investigate.

Unfortunately the maximum penalty of imprisonment is just 2 years and Hakan’s guilty plea will no doubt result in a discount, however we think it is a safe bet that Hakan’s (who is also bankrupt) will not be administering a trust account any time soon.

Sentencing of Hakan Kutup is expected sometime around June 2020.

Relatives of Hakan Kutup continue to conduct business in the Illawarra including:

Jeyda Kutup, daughter and former property manager for Hakan’s business – was recently working in a motor dealers finance office at Wollongong City Motors, no doubt handling the sensitive financial information of borrowers? Jeyda entered loan guarantees to purchase her father’s former rent roll from its receivers just before the ATO stepped in to liquidate Hakan’s former business. In true Kutup family form, Jeyda now denies her indebtedness … the matter continues before the NSW Supreme Court, Possession List.

Eren Kutup, nephew and former property manager for Hakan – is self employed at the newly incorporated EK Capital … apparently the re-birth (sometimes referred to as Phoenix-ing?) of EK Property Group Pty Ltd which was placed in receivership some time ago. EK Capital claims to provide property and financial advice, again this would no doubt involve the borrower exposing sensitive financial information to members of the Kutup family and others? EK Capital is an authorised representative of Purple Circle Financial Services, ACL 486112. Eren is a defendant also in the NSW Supreme Court, Possession List matter.

Eren’s father is Allan Kutup. Allan was a director of EK Property Group. Allan and Hakan are brothers. Allan, to the best of our knowledge is a licensed real estate agent and may have worked in Hakan’s business prior to its liquidation. Allan is recorded as working at EK Capital.

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Groundhog day for dwadvisory.com.au, liquidators of 4 Bonny Glen companies + Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd class action update

Orange, 18 December 2019 (day 147)

Welcome to Day 147 since the Bonny Glen auctions where Bernard Hall seemingly purchased $8.2m of land from Bonny Glen liquidator’s dwadvisory.com.au.

Or so it seemed:

Bernard Hall - when $8m means $4m
Bernard Hall – when $8m means $4m
But all was apparently not as it seemed?

As we’ve been reporting via this blog – for the last 147 days – the so called purchasers of $8.2m of property have failed to pay the balance of around $7.4m to the liquidators of the 4 Bonny Glen companies who auctioned those properties *.

And for 147 long days, the creditors of those companies (in liquidation), in particular the long-suffering business partner and brother of Bernard Hall (i.e. Tim Hall) must have felt like our poor Groundhog Day character.

So yesterday, just like the previous 146 days, we woke up and wondered if we’d be getting a new neighbour soon (Bernard is presently an adjoining landowner)? You may call this Groundhog Day?
A good question?

In case you don’t remember the movie Groundhog Day, here is the trailer for a laugh:

Anyway, the update for class action claimants is this: 

As at this morning – just like the previous 147 days, we all woke up and wondered if we’d be getting a new neighbour (Bernard is presently an adjoining landowner)? 

We all wondered for Bernard‘s brother and creditor Tim whether Bernard‘s company was ‘for real’.  

Bona fide.  

And yesterday, just like those 147 other previous days, still Bernard has not found the balance of $8.2m? 

This must be embarrassing?

In closing, if you are interested in joining our class-action against Bernard‘s company Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd (and you think this is a sign that Bernard‘s company is weak) then please complete the form here:  

https://www.dcpartners.solutions/2019/07/caernarvon-class-action/ 

or call us on 1300-327123 to discuss the nature of your exposure to the proposed Defendants. 

Alternatively if you’d like to make an appointment to see Mark in Orange over Christmas to early New Year period, in Orange, please click this link: 

Book appointment

Thanks for your interest, have a safe and Happy Christmas. 
 
Yours faithfully,
Mark Smith, Director
DCP Litigation Holdings Pty Ltd
 
call 1300-327123 (till late)
 
* search records as at 17 December and 19 December 2019.
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Bernard Hall – companies in liquidation

Bernard Francis Hall

Company director Bernard Francis Hall has 4 companies now in liquidation.

These companies include:

All 4 companies have DW Advisory as liquidator.

Particulars of the liquidations, including the first report to creditors can be located on DW Advisory’s website here.

Despite having been appointed almost 2 months ago, DW Advisory has not realised 90% by value of the sale of the Bonny Glen partnership properties (according to title searches of 14 November 2019) auctioned in Orange on 24 July 2019.

We understand some of Bernard’s remaining companies continue to rent properties from the liquidator despite having contracts that required them to complete the sales in September 2019 – 2 months ago – still incomplete?  An inspection of the title’s of the subject properties in the hands of the liquidator’s states:

“NO CERTIFICATE OF TITLE HAS ISSUED FOR THE CURRENT EDITION OF THIS FOLIO.  CONTROL OF THE RIGHT TO DEAL IS HELD BY WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION.”  

We further understand there is an allegation that the liquidator has failed to collect 1 or more years rent from Bernard’s lessee company?  Whilst there may be sound business reason for not collecting this rent from Bernard’s company (?), DCP sincerely hope the interests of all creditors (not just interests associated with Bernard Hall) are being protected by DW Advisory in their trusted role as liquidator?  We understand complaints have been made about aspects of the liquidator’s conduct to date to bodies including ASIC and other regulators?

Below is a partial overview of the Hall families business structure.

Hall family tree of businesses
Hall family tree of businesses

If you have any comments or information about Bernard & Fiona Hall, we’d love to hear from you including any documents via the instant chats below, through the below form or by phone on 1300-327123.

Correct as at 14 November 2019.

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Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd / cherry growers of Orange class action and litigation further update from DCP Litigation Holdings Pty Ltd

Fiona Hall packing her bags

Thursday 14 November 2019, 5.50pm

Dear potential claimant,

Further to our class action potential claimants newsletter of late last week, we can now advise the following (also see our video) that, according to the attached title searches:

The identity of the purchaser, seemingly being a superfund, suggests the purchases were not intended to be debt financed – super funds find it difficult to borrow funds even mortgages.

The failure of Bernard Hall’s trustee company to purchase those properties, after some 115 days being available to them to raise finances, which it was contracted to purchase suggests things are not good in the Hall camp ….

With:

  • 4 related companies in liquidation,
  • a litigation war between Bernard and his family,
  • the failure to complete 4 out of 5 contracts* (with a $740,000 deposit seemingly at risk),
  • with a litigant seeking a judgment in the sum of around $620,000 and
  • other unknown issues under the surface,

suppliers and customers of Bernard’s company Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd, perhaps justifiably, may well have concerns about whether Caernarvon really is a going concern and long-term partner?

More detailed analysis will follow re what the above means (or may mean) to proposed class action participants.

More detailed information on the Hall’s is available on our webpages:

If you are interested in our class-action please complete the form here:  https://www.dcpartners.solutions/2019/07/caernarvon-class-action/ and complete the participants form or call us to discuss the nature of your exposure to the proposed defendants.
Yours faithfully,
call 1300-327123 (till late)
* records as at 4.53pm, 14 November 2019.
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Fiona Hall (packing her bags) – profile

Fiona Hall packing her bags

How does someone become a Nuffield Scholar?

 

… Get your bestie to write the application?  Well that was Fiona Hall’s idea.

First, in mid 2014 she enquired with me whether I’d write the application for her (I didn’t and I am not her bestie).

Shortly thereafter the application was written by Mr Andrew Borrodell Gartrell (at the time a friend), the rest is history.  To see Fiona’s email to me click here, to see Fiona’s email to Gartrell click here.

Fiona, wife of Bernard, is not a director of any of the Bonny Glen companies and held no direct financial interest in those properties.

Fiona however is a joint shareholder and director of Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd and other related companies.

As at 8 November 2019, she does not own any direct interest in the Caernarvon homestead, Caernarvon orchard or Caernarvon shed.

Below is parts of the Hall’s family business structure and landholdings.

Hall family tree of businesses
Hall family tree of businesses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is Fiona’s speech at the Nuffield Australia National Conference 2016 via Youtube.

Here Fiona ‘champions’ access for growers to data.

It will be interesting to see Fiona’s approach and response to subpoenas – should they be issued – in the proposed class action by cherry growers.

 

Another video interview by Fiona discussing the need for farm profitability.  Caernarvon is well known as having delivered ‘bills’ to fruit growers who sent their fruit to Caernarvon to be packed and sold, i.e. the net return to the grower was negative after deducting Caernarvon’s packing and marketing costs and the fruit ‘sold’.  It is unclear whether Caernarvon has at all times complied with the Horticultural Code of Conduct?

 

 

 

If you have any comments or information about Bernard & Fiona Hall, we’d love to hear from you including any documents via the instant chats below, through the below form or by phone on 1300-327123.

 

Contact Us

  • Level 6, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000

  • 1300-327123
  • mark@dcpartners.solutions