13/03/2015 - 14:46

Westpoint, Carey to pay $133,000 fine

13/03/2015 - 14:46

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Failed property investment company Westpoint Group and its director Norm Carey have been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling $133,000 for making false or misleading representations regarding a residential property development in Rivervale.

Failed property investment company Westpoint Group and its director Norm Carey have been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling $133,000 for making false or misleading representations regarding a residential property development in Rivervale.

Westpoint, which has been in liquidation since 2006, was fined $30,000 while Mr Carey was given a $6,000 fine and was ordered to pay costs of $97,449.

Mr Carey was found guilty in 2011 of five charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act in relation to the sale of a residential property development in Rivervale in 2005.

Through his agents, Mr Carey misled purchasers of units in the Regent Apartments development by falsely informing them that there had been indefinite delays to the project due to planning approvals.

The agents caused purchasers to terminate their contracts of sale, and then re-sold the units at a higher price within a short period of time.

The Supreme Court dismissed Mr Carey’s appeal in 2012 and the Court of Appeal dismissed a second appeal in 2013.

Yesterday, he was also denied an application for a spent conviction.

Consumer Protection commissioner Anne Driscoll said the case highlighted the need for those involved in promoting property to be completely honest in their dealings with clients and potential buyers.

“Property transactions must be totally transparent and the perpetrators of deception cannot be rewarded and must face the consequences of their actions,” she said.

Two Westpoint Realty agents pleaded guilty to related charges in 2010 and were fined $2,000 and $750 respectively, and were granted spent convictions due to their cooperation with the prosecution.

A third agent, Thomas Haynes, also pleaded guilty in 2010 and was convicted and fined $1,000 and was ordered to pay court costs of $1,180.

His application for a spent conviction was refused.

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