Another spruiker caught up with justice.
Article originally published DECEMBER 6, 2004 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
Queensland property investors rejoice. After more than a decade of probably the worst rip-offs in real estate history, after tens of thousands of people have lost hundreds of millions of dollars, after families have been left financially and emotionally ruined, after retirees have been flung into poverty, after multiple family breakdowns, stress, illnesses and even suicide, the Queensland government has finally caught a property investment spruiker.
Yes, you heard it, the regulators finally caught a rogue. One.
One of those dodgy bods who sell property to naïve investors for thousands of dollars more than the true value of the properties. Bods known as marketeers.
And the name of the bod who has the distinction of being the one and only marketeer to be caught is Phillip James Hall.
How did Phillip possibly get caught? That must have been really hard. It’s the investors who are supposed to get caught, not the spruikers.
Take a look at the spruiker-catching scoreboard for Queensland. It would read something like this – Investors Caught: 57,427, Spruikers Caught: Zero.
Even today, after the new laws which the Queensland government hailed as magnificent and which are still being flouted by spruikers who are still stitching naïve investors into over-priced property deals, it’s almost impossible for spruikers to be caught. There is no limit to the cunning and deceit displayed by the property spruikers. No limit at all.
So, what did Phillip Hall do to get caught? Did he walk into the regulator’s offices and surrender? Not quite. Almost.
Hall failed to disclose the true commissions on those investment properties. Yes, that’s right, he didn’t tell the investors how much money gets skimmed off the top of those house-and-land package deals that are sold via tele-marketers, glossy brochures and interstate trips arranged by so-called tax and property investment experts. Expert cheats.
The new Queensland anti-marketeering laws are clear – Spruikers: if you want to rip-off investors, you have to tell them that you are ripping them off. It’s called “disclosure”. You have to tell them how much commission (it’s called “fat”) is in the deal. In Phillip’s case, the fat was around $27,000 per property. But Phil only disclosed that the commission was around $10,000. Silly boy.
Phillip Hall, you have disgraced all the spruikers in Queensland by getting caught. Don’t expect them to support you. Before the week is out, they’ll be telling more naïve investors that the government in Queensland is tough on spruikers. You’ll be the Pin-filled-poster-boy of the spruikers as they tell investors that the bad ‘un, has been nabbed. You’re the one, Phil.
But don’t worry too much. Word is that other spruikers are soon to be prosecuted. If they catch another one, the government will be able to say it has doubled its success rate.
You’re not the only one, Phil. Queensland is a sunny state filled with shady characters.
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