One of the victims of a rent roll scam is relieved to hear an injunction has been placed on the alleged perpetrator, Mark Whittingham.
Robert Bell, from Laing+Simmons Ashfield in Sydney, told Real Estate Business how Mr Whittingham’s company, Connection Blue, approached him to buy a rent roll.
“He initially targeted my wife,” he said. “I became involved later and started looking into it, I was legitimately interested in buying a rent roll."
Consumer Affairs Victoria issued a public warning on Connection Blue and it's director Mr Whittingham last week after a number of agents claimed he never supplied the promised rent rolls after taking deposits of up to $135,000.
“When I wanted more information he requested a deposit of 20 per cent, which was $60,000. I told him there’s no way I’d send him that, but I sent him $1,000 to show my genuine interest," Mr Bell said.
Mr Bell claims that Mark Whittingham refused to even tell him the location of the properties.
Things turned sour for Mr Bell afterwards when Mr Whittingham demanded the remainder of the 20 per cent deposit.
“I wasn’t going to give away $60,000 on a blind deal,” he said.
After further investigating Connection Blue, Mr Bell learned of Mr Whittingham’s previous business, Buy A Trail, which was also embroiled in a similar scandal in the mortgage broking industry.
“Once I realised what he was doing I told him to shove it,” he said.
Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has granted an interim injunction restraining Mark Whittingham and his company Connection Blue from:
- disbursing, transferring, dealing with, drawing on or disposing of deposit monies received (up to $161,000) prior to the sale and delivery of the assets
- requesting any money from any person for access to such assets
- requesting/disbursing/transferring/drawing on/disposing of any payment or other consideration (after this order was made) prior to the actual delivery of the goods.
The interim injunction will be considered again by the court on 26 March 2013.
Mr Whittingham failed to return Real Estate Business’ phone call before deadline.