Mark William Whittingham and his business, Connection Blue Pty Ltd, must transfer $198,331 to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, as compensation to four real estate agents who paid deposits for rent rolls which were not supplied.
Connection Blue did not refund the deposits to the agents, including one which paid more than $138,000.
On 27 June, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court confirmed interlocutory orders made on 19 March 2013 that, (in relation to rent rolls, mortgage trail books or planning books) restrained Mr Whittingham and Connection Blue from:
- disbursing, transferring, dealing with, drawing on or disposing of deposits received before sale and delivery
- requesting any money from anyone for access to such assets
- requesting, disbursing, transferring, drawing on or disposing of any payment or other consideration (after this order was made) before delivery.
The defendants must also pay $1456 costs.
The Acting Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria is seeking final orders against Mr Whittingham and Connection Blue to prevent them from selling (or requesting a deposit for) any rent roll, mortgage trail book or planning book.
A mortgage trail is a database of loan details that a broker uses as part of their portfolio. The buyer of a loan trail book is entitled to the trailing commissions on the loans.
Consumer Affairs Victoria is also seeking an order banning Mr Whittingham from managing a corporation, and has issued two public warnings about his conduct in connection with the sale of rent rolls and mortgage trail books.
Mr Whittingham’s wife, Kate Whittingham, is now conducting a similar business called Rent Roll Buyers through the company Cali Four Pty Ltd. Consumer Affairs Victoria is investigating similar complaints about this business.
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