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Maximum fine for operator of 'Bikini Girls Massage'

Issue Date: Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Perth Magistrates Court has imposed the maximum penalty against an operator of the 'Bikini Girls Massage’ business who engaged in misleading advertising.

Mr Colin Burton was today fined $6,000 after pleading guilty to 11 offences under the Fair Trading Act, relating to misleading employment advertisements.  He was also fined $100 for a further offence under the Business Names Act, relating to carrying on a business under an unregistered business name.

Consumer Protection told the Court that the operators of Bikini Girls Massage placed multiple advertisements in the employment sections of community newspapers which were liable to mislead potential applicants as to the true nature, terms and conditions of the employment.

The advertisements for employees for a "Health Salon" omitted any reference to the fact that those responding were required to massage naked, or mostly naked, men and that they were also themselves required to be mostly naked.

Also, the advertisements failed to mention that the candidates were effectively to be sub-contractors rather than employees and that they were required to rent facilities from the operators.

In sentencing Mr Burton, Magistrate Wheeler told the Court that the "offences were quite serious in nature".  He remarked that the business was "dodgy" and there would be those in the community who would be glad that Mr Burton has not made a profit from his investment in the business.

Magistrate Wheeler indicated that any person involved in carrying on business is responsible for understanding the relevant law.

Mr Burton’s business partner, Mr Bon Levi, has pleaded not guilty to 91 similar charges and his matter was adjourned for a 3-day trial starting on 1 September 2010.

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Media Contact: Alan Hynd
9282 0961 or 0429-078791
alan.hynd@commerce.wa.gov.au