Richard Ebbott – predator instead of protector.
Article originally published MARCH 23, 2005 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
It’s a law of nature – ocean sharks can’t help themselves. When they attack people, they are doing what comes naturally. And besides, if we humans venture into their environment we must accept, without complaint, whatever welcome awaits us.
And so it is in real estate. When we enter the world of property advisers, we know that salespeople are likely to make a hefty commission if we sign something. We expect to be bitten – at least to some extent.
But the size of the bite from the property sharks can be reduced – or even avoided altogether – if we take one sensible precaution and seek independent legal advice.
Yes, that’s right, lawyers can save us from sharks. That’s what lawyers should do, that’s what consumers expect from those who spend years at university and who take oaths to uphold the law, to defend and protect their clients.
Instead of being protectors however, some lawyers become predators.
Lawyers such as Richard Frank Ebbott who, for years, has been assisting real estate sharks to fleece property investors.
Ebbott’s conduct is far worse than that of the real estate sharks because Ebbott is a person in a position of high trust. The property sharks are like the ocean sharks, they can’t help themselves, but Ebbott knowingly chooses to violate a noble calling. He is a legal life-guard who throws his clients to sharks.
Yesterday (March 22), the Queensland Office of Fair Trading announced that it had successfully prosecuted a gang of property marketeers and that more than $250,000 in fines and compensation had been imposed.
Richard Ebbott, lawyer, was one of the gang members. While the sharks received bans preventing them from working in real estate for up to four years (why not life?), Ebbott’s legal office is still open for business.
Ebbott was ordered to pay more than $30,000 in fines and compensation, a pittance compared to the fees he has charged his unsuspecting victims over the years.
Lawyers who swim with property sharks are a disgrace. They ruin the lives of trusting clients and therefore, they should be banned for life.
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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.