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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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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.

 

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Bernard Hall – updated profile

Bernard Francis Hall

Bernard Hall splashes out $8.2m (but fails to complete) – and as at 14 November 2019 – his companies still had only completed 1 of 5 purchases … 90% of the purchase prices still remains unpaid.  Moreover, 4 of Bernard’s companies are now in liquidation, yet despite this the liquidators seem in no hurry to, well, liquidate those 4 companies or their millions of dollars of real estate.

It seems a key assumption by Bernard Hall may be in error.  Bernard is quoted by the Central Western Daily as indicating a belief that he only needed to find the ‘other half’ of the equity he didn’t presently own in the Bonny Glen properties.

Bernard Hall - when $8m means $4m
Bernard Hall – when $8m means $4m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than 106 days after the auction (as at 8 November 2019), Bernard and his company’s have failed to complete the purchase of 4 of the 5 Bonny Glen properties he bid to purchase at a cost of $8.15m.

In early November 2019, a notice to complete under those 4 incomplete contracts has been issued upon Bernard Hall making completion, at a final price of about $7.4m, time being of the essence, essential by the close of business on 14 November 2019.  As at the close of business on that day (yesterday), Bernard’s purchasing companies had failed to complete.

Bernard, husband of Fiona, is a director of the Bonny Glen companies (in liquidation) and holds a direct financial interest in those properties.

Despite this, it is believed that Bernard cannot simply transfer those interests to the purchasing vehicles, he had to complete the purchase contracts (it is believed) hence the notices to complete.

It would appear from Bernard’s quotes (see article above) he believed he could merely just pay a top up sum to buy out his brother and parents from the properties?  Did his Nuffield Scholar wife also hold this belief?

Bernard (with Fiona) is a joint shareholder and director of Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd and other related companies.

The family tree of the Bonny Glen and Hall family/s is below:

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 using our instant chat, the below form or by phone on 1300-327123.

 

 

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Hall family overview – Bernard & Fiona and Bonny Glen Fruits Pty Ltd.

Hall family tree of businesses

Below is an overview of the corporate structure of the Hall family, being the family of Frederick Charles Hall & Pamela Therese Hall.

The Hall’s also own a range of properties discussed here on a related page – click here.

Relevant members of the Hall family for the purposes of this profile are:

Frederick Charles Hall – father

Pamela Therese Hall – mother

Bernard Francis Hall & Fiona Catherine Hall – son and daughter in law

Timothy Simon Hall – brother of Bernard (but not relevant to the class action as a defendant).

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.

 

 

 

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Hakan Kutup arrested, what next?

Hakan Kutup

Arrest

DC Partners has been assisting the victim of a crime for some months.

As reported, on 6 September 2019, Hakan KUTUP (“Hakan“) attended Lake Illawarra Police Station.  Hakan participated in an interview and was charged with:

  • 12 x Fraud,
  • 12 x Forgery,
  • 3 x Fraudulent conversion of money.

Hakan was granted strict conditional bail and will appear at Wollongong Local Court on 5 November 2019.

For other victims

DC Partners wishes to encourage anyone who has been a victim of a crime to report these immediately to NSW Police.  Specifically locals in the Illawarra should contact Lake Illawarra Police and detectives at 6 Pioneer Drive, Oak Flats 2529.

But, in addition, DC Partners are separately keen to hear from anyone who may have had past dealings with:

  1. Hakan during his time with ParkTrent Properties (aka Rotten Ron Cross),
  2. Century 21,
  3. Century 21 Ultimate Real Estate or elsewhere.

The previous dealings could be involving persons who have:

  1. not had rental bond’s deposited correctly,
  2. had suspicious charges added that they were not expecting,
  3. made previous complaints to NSW Fairtrading,
  4. received late rental payments,
  5. received no rental payments,
  6. not received rental bonds back at the end of a tenancy or otherwise.

No amount too big or too small.

Hakan’s family in property

Similarly, anyone with any similar experiences when dealing with relatives of Hakan KUTUP may also be of interest?  Other relatives of Hakan Kutup seemingly involved in property include:

Other remedies

DCP Litigation acknowledges the glacial speed NSW Fairtrading seems to work at?  We are considering helping a number of victims to pursue claims.  This may involve a class action against NSW Fairtrading.  We are also helping clients claim against the government’s Fidelity Fund or via the court’s.

In this regard, we are considering a class action for victims of Hakan Kutup perhaps against NSW Fairtrading?

Please complete the contact form to register an interest in joining the class action.  A class action requires a minimum of 7 claimants with the same loss against a common defendant.

NSW Fairtrading class action

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DCPLH v Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd – potential growers class action

Biteroit - Caernarvon Cherry

DCP Litigation Holdings is inviting expressions of interest from potential class action claimants against Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd ACN 111 047 191 (“Caernarvon”).

Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd is a fruit packing operator located at 474 Canobolas Rd, Orange NSW 2800 and predominantly packs Cherries and Apples under the Biteriot brand for Woolworths, Harris Farm and numerous export supermarket chains.

DCP Litigation Holdings is the assignee of the claims of a number of fruit growers from around the Nashdale, Mudgee and Orange / Mt. Canobolas fruit-growing regions.

What is a class action?

 

A class action is a permitted court action involving 7 or more claimants with substantially similar claims against the same defendant or defendant/s.

What’s the class action about?

 

We will be arguing, amongst other things, that:

  1. Caernarvon breached the Horticultural Code of Conduct which is a mandatory code within the fruit packing and wholesale sector ;
  2. Caernarvon provided misleading and deceptive fruit packing statistics and materially underpaid our assignees – causing loss ;
  3. In addition, Caernarvon overcharged our assignees for packing services, fruit picking services, packaging, transport, fruit handling, storage and /or otherwise.  In some cases, we have seen evidence where, Caernarvon charged our assignee grower up to almost 400 hours of labour in one summer season for the provision of a “person” / alleged staff member – this ‘person’ having no date of birth, no bank account, no tax file number, no superannuation membership, and no address … (the person actually is alleged to reside at the same address as Caernarvon, 474 Canobolas Rd – together with approximately 100 other alleged staff members) ;
  4. Moreover, Caernarvon at the time of the apparent overcharging of our grower assignee, also charged our grower assignee for the services of a “pay mistress”, Ms. Paula Neill formerly of Landseer St, RaglanAround the same time, Ms. Neill pleaded guilty to stealing the sum of $44,864.56 from a local charity known BINC ;
  5. Caernarvon failed to conduct its fruit growing operations in a workmanlike manner.

And in the process, Caernarvon caused our assignee loss and/or damage.

To be clear, we do not accuse Ms. Paula Neil of any criminal offence, however we do say that Caernarvon itself, with some 900 persons on its payroll did engage in misleading and deceptive conduct causing loss to our assignee, and we believe it is highly likely that a number of other fruit growers from the Orange and nearby locality also suffered loss (we have spoken to many).

Moreover, we say that the assignee is entitled to query the veracity of various expenses, which they have, and about which questions still remain outstanding (Caernarvon refusing or neglecting to account or answer questions).

DCP Litigation Holdings are inviting expressions of interest from other growers and suppliers to Caernarvon Cherry, to discuss the claims with potential class action fruit growers and claimants, who have had a similar detrimental financial experience with Caernarvon.  It will be our proposal to fund all litigation costs of all fruit growers accepted against Caernarvon and to share in any settlement payment or judgment of a relevant court.

How big does my claim have to be?

A class-action is ideally suited to large or small growers.
The size of the claim is not important.
The important aspects of the claim is that they are substantially similar to the what we say above that we will be arguing, i.e. they generally involve the supply of fruit from a grower to Caernarvon and some disagreement about entitlements to money (big or small).
The other important factor is that the defendant must be Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd of Orange, NSW.

How fruit growers can get involved?

Regardless of how big or small your claim may be, interested parties are asked to complete the below form to express interest.  Once we receive your enquiry we will email you also our class-action FAQ’s.

CCC class action

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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.

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DCPLH v Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd – service agreement

Biteroit - Caernarvon Cherry

DCPLH is currently undertaking a statement of claim (as at 6 November 2019) in pursuit of an alleged debt owed by Caernarvon Cherry Pty Ltd to it, as assignee.

The claim seeks damages of upto $621,000 plus legal costs.

The matter is in the NSW District Court.

DCPLH has filed this statement of claim in late September 2019 with a defence due by the late November 2019.

DCPLH is also assisting a group of local fruit growers from the Orange District of NSW with preparations for a class-action against Caernarvon.  To view our class-action page – click here.

To view our main Caernarvon Cherry page – click here.

To view our main Hall family page – click here.

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.

 

 

Updated: 6 November 2019.

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Craig Matthew Adams – former proprietor of Golden Arrow, Mikara Developments, Bargo Developments, Key Asset Management and more

craig adams

Craig Matthew Adams (“Craig”), who lists his occupation as “investor”, is a former company director.

Craig came to DCPLH’s attention related to several insolvent companies liquidated in mid to late 2018.  The group of companies includes:

  1. Golden Arrow International Pty Ltd
  2. Bargo Developments Pty Ltd
  3. Mikara Developments Pty Ltd
  4. Mikara Investments Pty Ltd
  5. Greenviews Castle Hill Pty Ltd

Craig is personally bankrupt.  A copy of the sequestration order is viewable here.

Craig was personally liable for a debt of $4m (plus interest) from Mohan KumarDCPLH is the assignee of Mohan Kumar for the fruit of that debt.  DCPLH is also the assignee of Reliance Leasing for a small debt owed by Craig and Bargo at the time of Craig’s bankruptcy.

Craig was made bankrupt on 13 December 2018 by a debt owed to Australasian Property Group Pte Ltd (“Australasian”).  Craig trustee in bankruptcy is Andy Scott of PWC.

Presently, Craig’s debt to Australasian is $2,059,753.46 (as at 31 May 2019).  Australasian are yet to recover the alleged debt (as at 31 May 2019) according to published documents.

Craig’s creditor’s report is available for inspection here.