Article originally published DECEMBER 13, 2004 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
Around 200 years ago, the Scottish novelist, Sir Walter Scott, penned those immortal words on deception, “Ah, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
Although Scott didn’t achieve much financial success in his life, he was canny enough to avoid get-rich spruikers. Had he been alive today, Sir Walter Scott would have been a prime target for a weaver of deceit who goes by the name of Jack.
Jack Weavers – who used to be known as Mohammad Alenaddaf – has been making some of the worst (or best, depending on which way you look at it) get-rich claims ever seen in this country. Claims so bold they’d probably match those of the now defunct Henry Kaye.
Try this one for size – “How to have the best of SEX, PROPERTY & SHARES…. “Satisfaction Guaranteed!!” Yes, that was a well-known Jack Weavers headline.
Even Henry Kaye, as charming as some people found him, never promised to increase their sexual prowess. Henry had limits – or perhaps, because he was so focussed on making money, he had no time to play.
There have been no limits to the promises of Jack Weavers. Be it sex, real estate, shares, or any scheme likely to entice consumers through deceptive claims, spruiker Jack has been making them, without complete impunity.
Try another one – “Learn how to buy properties that generate profits of 750% to 8,900% per annum, that’s right!”
You’d have to wonder why Jack would share such a secret, never mind boasting about such a great return. Obviously, Jack has been doing what all (yes, all) the get-rich quackers have been doing (and are still doing) – making false and misleading claims. Weaving a web of deceit.
But there’s something different about Jack Weavers compared with Henry Kaye (and scores of other deceivers). The difference is that Jack has been making his get-rich claims for almost fifteen years. Get-rich spruikers have an average life span little longer than a moth.
So, why has Jack lasted so long?
Because Jack is based in Queensland. And not just Queensland, but at the Gold Coast where it is acknowledged (even by a senior government advisor) that “there are more crooks on the Gold Coast than anywhere else in Australia.” It’s well-known, in the spruiking world, that if you want to be a corporate deceiver the safest place is Queensland. The state even has a slogan to suit spruikers – “Where else but Queensland.”
Although Jack infers that his company (Oneworld Seminars International) is some sort of global conglomerate – with offices in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, and New Zealand, he appears to have confined his activities largely to Queensland. His turf seems to have been from the Gold Coast to Cairns.
But finally, Jack’s luck seems to have run out.
In July this year, Jack Weavers stuck his nose out of Queensland. He placed his deceptive advertisements in West Australian newspapers where the Department of Consumer Protection has what it calls a “daily media monitoring program” (pay attention Queensland regulators).
The minute the sharp-eyed eagles in the west saw Jack’s ads he was busted – big time. In lay terms, he was run out of the state. He went back to Queensland – a lot safer for him.
But then, in October, the federal regulatory body, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) obtained court orders restraining Jack Weavers from certain conduct in relation to his seminars.
Although Jack Weavers said he had never had a complaint from a consumer, ASIC acted based on complaints from consumers. (Perhaps the consumers didn’t tell Jack that they weren’t happy with him – yes, that must’ve been what happened).
Jack had been telling investors that they could make “profits of 250% in less than 4 months” from the share market. And Jack does not hold an Australian Financial Services License.
Last week, the Supreme Court of Queensland declared that Jack Weavers “had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct” and he “had operated an illegal managed investment scheme”.
Today, Queensland Jack and his Oneworld International web site has disappeared – and so have his seminars. Thanks to the state regulators in West Australian and the federal regulator, ASIC.
But, like most spruikers, Jack will probably be back – reinventing himself in another guise.
Meanwhile, ASIC is warning consumers to check that investment spruikers are licensed. The inference being, of course, that if investors deal with licensed financial spruikers they will be safe.
Surveys conducted since the mid-nineties reveal that more than fifty per cent of financial advisers can’t be trusted.
Sir Walter Scott was right. It’s a tangled web of deceit out there with thousands of dodgy spruikers and advisers all chasing the billions of dollars from millions of financially worried consumers.
Jack Weavers might be busted, but thousands more consumers are going to go bust unless our governments start to take swift action to enforce existing laws.
Not only is it time to start acting against corporate deceivers, it’s time to start locking them up.
PLEASE NOTE: Our focus is upon helping consumers. Abuse from agents on our web site or Facebook page will be deleted, ignored or well publicised – it depends on our mood.
But one thing will never vary: We will never stop doing what we love most – helping polite and honest consumers get the best deal possible in real estate. And, of course, if any agents are serious about taking care of consumers, we’ll help you too. Thank you.