By Gi Linda
I am one of four defrauded creditors who questioned the unaccountable fiduciary misconduct of Mark Darwin and Adrian Brennock during 2015-2016. As a result we were menaced, defamed and rejected as “unit holders” on false pretexts, while our invested moneys, being personal life-savings, superannuation and inheritances, total about $720,000, were dishonestly retained by Darwin and Brennock, who by deception and fraud obtained land and enjoyed personal financial advantage while causing loss and disadvantage to others.
Defrauded investors had responded to misleading marketing materials used by Darwin and Brennock to facilitate the sale of home-sites in a proposed multiple occupancy “Village Community” at Mt Burrell without appropriate disclosure of known land-use restrictions.
Victims of the fraud include “unit holders” and “rejected unit holders”, who invested in the failed venture between 2015-2016, only to discover that the “home-sites” in the “Village Community” are located on land where no habitation is permitted.
Ten defrauded investors are preparing civil class action to recover losses. I have taken independent legal action. After first applying for protection orders, I served Court Appearance Notices on Mark Darwin, Adrian Brennock, Steven McSween and Richard Moate to initiate a private prosecution bringing criminal charges of fraud and larceny at Murwillumbah Local Court regarding the “Bhula Bhula Village Community”.
The defendants, Mark Darwin, Adrian Brennock, Steven McSween and Richard Moate were represented at a directions hearing on May 23 by lawyer Ian McKay, who did not attempt to dismiss my claims. A full evidence hearing is listed for October 24, 2017 at Murwillumbah Local Court.
In addition to Court Appearance Notices I have filed a statutory demand on Wollumbin Horizons Pty Ltd, the company dishonourably controlled by Darwin and Brennock that owns the shared land. I am seeking restitution of the acknowledged debt to me of $120,000. Darwin and Brennock filed an application to set aside my demand.
At the first hearing of their application in Brisbane Federal Court on April 21, it was evident that company director Richard Moate had filed a perjured affidavit presenting a false offsetting claim of $120,000. He later retracted the claim, admitting it was false, and resigned as puppet director of the company that is used by Darwin and Brennock to defraud trusting investors in their “village community”.
With their evidence of a supposed offsetting claim admittedly perjured, Darwin and Brennock requested the court to stay proceedings for a month. Their request was granted. That gave them time to continue attempts to liquidate the company to their benefit, harass me further and cookup other false claims.
On May 26, at the second hearing before Registrar Belcher at Brisbane Federal Court of Darwin/Brennock’s application to set aside my statutory demand, their barrister spent seventy minutes presenting over 200 pages of obfuscating mendacity, that gives new meaning to the “weight of evidence”. They flaunted page after legal page of company bills incurred by Darwin/Brennock and charged to me. They even charged me the cost of the skip they used to steal my belongings after they smashed my Garden in December 2016.
Perjured affidavits in the suit are graphically illustrated with Darwin’s pictures of strangled goats linked to his familiar malicious defamatory claims. Darwin’s false narrative focuses on my supposed “conduct” to justify his “rejection” of me as a “unit holder” in the “village community”, while retaining my $120,000 investment. Fabricated offsetting claims of over $224,000, dishonestly make it appear I am indebted to them.
Towards the end this 90 minute hearing, I was left with fully seven minutes to present my defense. Registrar Belcher commented that he failed to understand why the company refused to make restitution, since the debt is due and payable, the company is solvent and there does not appear to be a valid offsetting claim. Stone Group’s barrister, instructed by Darwin and Brennock, replied that her clients refused to return my $120,000 investment because of blogs exposing their fraud that I publish for the “Association of Investors Defrauded by Darwin” (AIDD):
I offered to request authority from AIDD to remove these blogs if my investment of $120,000 would first be returned or held by the court pending compliance. To date no restitution has been made or offered.
I also advised Stone Group Lawyers that I would correct any errors in anything I’ve published, if Darwin and Brennock would supply a list of everything they consider to be factually wrong. No list has been provided.
Besides filing a statutory demand to recover my investment, and initiating a private prosecution to bring Darwin and Brennock’s fraud to justice, I have also applied for protection orders because of theft, stalking, threats, harassment, intimidation and malicious defamation that has continued since publication of my exposé of the fraud in October 2016, until the present.
After Tweed Shire Council filed charges against Darwin & Co in the Land and Environment Court for attempting, without development approval, to build a "Village Community" on environmentally protected land where no habitation is permitted, Darwin & Co went tropical. When exposure of their fraud in several local newspapers caused people to stop buying units in their failed venture, they slapped defamation charges on the Nimbin GoodTimes and myself for an article I authored that was published by the Nimbin GoodTimes in October 2016, p4: “The Truth About Bhula Bhula”.
With Darwin & Co claiming damages around $4 million in lost sales and commissions, allegedly as an unhappy consequence of our exposure of their fraud, this is by far the biggest defamation case in Australian history.
In response to Darwin & Co’s offer of discontinuance of defamation claims against Nimbin GoodTimes, editor Bob Dooley deleted the offending article from the newspaper's online archive, prepared a draft retraction and offered free full page ads to Darwin and Brennock for the next year. Hopefully they get colour.
The article in contention, “The Truth About Bhula Bhula” is copied online at: