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Caernarvon Cherry: payroll fun facts

Between 1 June 2013 and 30 June 2014, Caernarvon Cherry Pty (recently morphed into Biteriot Operations Pty Ltd) employed allegedly 914 said “employees”.

Of those said employees:

1. 107 had no address.

2. 35 had no bank accounts, multiple other persons also shared bank accounts.

3. 11 of the persons with no address also had no bank accounts.

4. 24 had no date/s of birth.

5. 530 had no superannuation membership number.

6. 143 had no tax file number, yet 63 received a tax free threshold of circa $20,000.

7. Between 9 December 2013 and 5 January 2014, the accused purported to supply services to the victim company, Homeward Bound Holdings Pty Ltd (in liquidation) said to total approximately $92,000.

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Biteriot’s busted business model: export cherry sales down 75%

Pandemic Farming: Apples And Oranges
Fiona Hall, Biteriot, Caernarvon Cherry – pays staff $70 per day and then complains that she can’t find workers?

Alleged Nuffield Scholar, Fiona Hall of Caernarvon / Biteriot has admitted that her export sales to the number 1 market in the world China, were down 75%.

Recently, Fiona gave an interview whereby she said:

“We only did a quarter of what we did [last year],” she said.

The entire article, published in the Central Western Daily can be viewed – click here.

A number of aspects of the article warrant fact checking:

  • Alleged fact:  Mainland Australia is well placed to supply cherries to China 

False – As per the following industry press articles, Southern Hemisphere cherry producer (Chile – with its ideal desert climate, low or no rainfall, low cost of production and favourable market access – they are not in a trade war with China) produces over 300,000 tonnes of fresh cherries per annum whilst mainland Australia produces around 15,000 tonnes in the same growing season.  Chile ship, as the industry press articles attached report, cherries by sea that by 12 December 2020 had already landed in China >1000 x 40’ sea containers. In contrast, Orange NSW loaded zero sea shipments this year, nor last year nor indeed ever.  Orange has not loaded even 1 sea shipment in the past 5 years. 

Recent industry press articles (confirming that Chile raised sales by 38% whilst Fiona and Biteriot export sales fell by 75% include:

  1. 30/12/2020 – Amidst Record Chilean Cherry Season, China Arrivals to Peak in Jan. | Produce Report
  2. 16/12/2020 – First Sea Shipment of Chilean Cherries Arrives in China | Produce Report
  3. 1/12/2020 – Chilean Cherry Shipment Prices Settling After Record Highs | Produce Report
  4. 2/11/2020 – Season’s First Batch of Chilean Cherries Arrives in Shanghai | Produce Report
  5. 9/9/2020 – Air Freight Cost for Australian Cherries Doubles, Even With Subsidies | Produce Report
  6. 9/3/2020 – China’s Fruit Import:Export Statistics for First Half of 2020 Released | Produce Report
  7. 6/1/2021 – Challenging Orange cherry season ends after export, staff and rain issues | Central Western Daily |
  • Alleged fact:  Orange NSW/Cabonne is a good place to grow cherries 

False – the rainfall is way too high to reliably grow (quality or competitive) cherries on the tablelands of NSW.  Alternatively the high desert production areas of Chile, with irrigation water supplied by extensive snow melt rivers receive around 6 inches of rain p/a, with no damaging rains during the growing season.  The elevated areas of the Canobolas growing area west of Orange NSW in Cabonne receives almost 7x more rain than Chile making cherry growing west of Orange NSW a high risk proposition, with profits likely perhaps once every 3 or 4 years? 

  • Alleged fact:  Obtaining labour to harvest cherries is difficult 

True – it is not viable to harvest cherries in Australia if Australian cherry pickers earn $25 per hour when Chilean producers pay under $9 per hour for harvest labour.

NB: We do not admit that Biteriot pays its staff $25 per hour. On the contrary, we are promoted a wage theft class action for underpaid Biteriot / Caernarvon & Bonny Glen workers. In a recent interview Fiona Hall admitted fruit pickers were only paid about $70 per dayclick link here and skip to 15 mins & 15 seconds

Fiona Hall, Biteriot, Caernarvon Cherry

It is not believed that Growers benefitted from the cut priced $70 per day wage rates, accordingly we are promoting a growers class action for ripped off growers / suppliers to Caernarvon Cherry & Biteriot.

We do not submit that ALL cherry farms are unviable, just the business model being employed by Topfruit China Australia and BiteriotTopfruit China Australia is owned by unknown foreign investors fronted by Guohao Chen (sometimes known as Vincent Guohao Chen) the heir to a toilet bowl empire in Guangzhou China.

We note that other growers (Thornbrook Orchard) in the CWD article report having had a “good season” under the you-pick model not favoured absentee Chinese neighbours.

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Ralph Paligaru – update 4/1/2021

Ralph Paligaru Whatsapp contact details

I received the following WhatsApp message (apparently from Ralph Paligaru … see WhatsApp message ID).

Ralph Paligaru Whatsapp message 210104
Ralph Paligaru Whatsapp message 210104

Have you had any dealings with Ralph Paligaru – in Australia, Fiji, India, elsewhere?

How would you rate your experiences with Ralph Paligaru?

Would you like to tell us about your experiences?

Ralph is the director of Dural Alliances Pty Ltd (in liquidation) in Australia and Mills Management (Fiji) Pte Ltd, operator of the Dreketi Timber Mill, Dreketi, Labasa, Fiji previously owned and operated by Taiwan Timber Fiji.

For the record – Mark Smith has initiated no contact with the family of Ralph Paligaru being himself, Amreeta Paligaru or otherwise.

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Bargo Developments – profile

632 old northern rd dural photo

revised in part on 15 and 16 December 2020 by Mark Smith

Bargo Developments Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (“Bargo“) is a company owned by Craig Adams (“Craig“) who entered a confidential heads of agreement with Ralph Paligaru (“Ralph”).  Ralph is and was the Power of Attorney of Mohan Kumar with a registered power of attorney, the former vendor of the land. Bargo became the owner of 632 Old Northern Rd, Dural after Ralph exercised the Power of Attorney of Mohan Kumar to sell the land to Bargo – copy of front page of contract here – click link.

Bargo is now in liquidation, Craig is bankrupt and Ralph is the subject of, I believe, more than 1 judgment debt with a bankruptcy notice having been served. Unless DCP Litigation Holdings judgment debt is set aside or paid, Ralph may be subject to further court orders. More information on Ralph’s bankruptcy notice and circumstances can be found via the following link: click here.

A copy of the confidential heads of agreement between Craig and Ralph can be viewed here: click link.

Ralph assigned to DCP Litigation Holdings (on behalf of his boss Mohan Kumar) monies owed by Craig and Bargo to Kumar. DCP Litigation Holdings applied and was successful in having Bargo wound up pursuant to the debt arising under the assignment between Kumar and DCP Litigation Holdings. Click below to view the following documents:

Creditors Statutory demand upon Bargo pursuant to the Kumar debt assigned by Ralph to DCP Litigation.

Originating process to wind up Bargo

Affidavit of debt.

Judgment – windup of Bargo

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Mohan Kumar (Chhota Rajan) – profile

mohan kumar passport

revised in part on 15 and 16 December 2020 by Mark Smith

Public interest

The below article may also be in the public interest of persons from or interested in India. The public interest of Australia may also be involved – Mohan Kumar lobbied and received Visa’s and other benefits, as a result of lobbying and other likely legitimate dealings, from officials and public office holders in Australia.

Chronology

Some time before 2015, probably well before 2015, Ralph Paligaru was employed by a man known as Mohan Kumar.

On or about 6 October 2015, Mohan Kumar granted to Ralph a power of attorney with powers as to the management of his affairs and property interests. A true copy of the Power of attorney is accessible here: click link.

It is believed that, on or about 25 October 2015, a man bearing the below passport in the name of Mohan Kumar boarded a plane at Sydney and travelled to Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. It is believed that Ralph Paligaru, on the same day, travelled from Sydney to Denpasar – on a separate flight – Ralph admitted to me he did not travel with Mohan Kumar but he did travel to Bali on the same day as did Mohan KumarRalph’s then employer.

Upon arrival in Denpasar, the person claiming to be Mohan Kumar was arrested according to reports. The true identity of the traveller is not known to me however photographs of the person and his passport have been reported widely in global news sites including in India. The passport carried by the traveller known as Mohan Kumar was issued, it is reported, in Zimbabwe by India and later re-issued in Sydney – a matter of public interest to residents of Australia. A reported copy of the passport of Mohan Kumar is shown below:

This signature seems to be similar to the signature on the Power of Attorney given to Ralph – see link: https://bit.ly/3o631OV

I understand that corruption related cases have considered the alleged issue of the passport in India alleging that the person carrying that passport is in fact Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje – also known as Mumbai gangster Chhota Rajan.

To the best of my knowledge the traveller has not admitted to being Chhota Rajan?

Links to an article by SBS containing these allegations is here: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/indian-mobster-hid-in-australia-for-7yrs

It is believed that Ralph was employed by Mohan Kumar, before the sale of 632 Old Northern Rd, Dural.

It is believed Ralph’s title of employment was, officially Manager. Below is an admission made by Mohan Kumar and Ralph’s lawyer – John Mahony of Mahony Law:

Ralph Paligaru - Mohan Kumar's Australian Manager
Ralph Paligaru – Mohan Kumar’s Australian Manager

To the best of my knowledge, Ralph stayed in Bali for approximately 1 night before returning to Sydney, accordingly I do not believe that Ralph’s visit to Bali was for or turned out to be for a vacation?. Mohan Kumar was arrested in Bali upon his arrival there.

The writer has located the following video believed to be an accurate report from a well known global news sources (AP):

SBS reports that Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje was wanted in India over the deaths of at least 20 women: see article – https://www.sbs.com.au/news/indian-mobster-hid-in-australia-for-7yrs

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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/

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).

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.

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

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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.

For more information – chat with us live using our instant chat tools (bottom corners), book an appointment or call now on 1300-327123 (till late).

To contact us with any tip-offs, files or information – please use the instant chat tools or form below: