Westpoint Realty Pty Ltd and director Norman Carey found guilty
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Following a 3-week trial, the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday 11 February 2011 found Westpoint Realty Pty Ltd and its director Mr Norman Carey guilty of five charges of making false or misleading representations regarding a residential property development in Rivervale.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Consumer Protection told the Court that the company, via its agents, 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, then each of the units were then re-sold at a higher price within a relatively short period of time.
Sean Colville Niven and company secretary Graeme John Rundle, who faced the same charges under the Fair Trading Act, were acquitted on all charges. Mr Rundle satisfied the Court that the offences occurred without his knowledge or authority and that they could not have been prevented by exercising due diligence. The Court accepted Mr Niven’s contention that he was not a relevant office holder of Westpoint Realty Pty Ltd.
Two Westpoint Realty Pty Ltd agents pleaded guilty to related charges in September last year and were fined $2,000 and $750 respectively and were granted spent convictions due to their cooperation with the prosecution.
A third agent, Mr Thomas Haynes, pleaded guilty in December last year and was convicted and fined $1,000 and ordered to pay Court costs of $1,180. His application for a spent conviction was refused.
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(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)
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