Archive for September 2014

Strata manager jailed after stealing $1m

A Sydney strata manager who stole more than $1 million from the apartment and business owners she looked after has been sentenced to 15 months in prison,, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

She used the cash she salted away from the trust accounts she managed to put down a deposit on a house, buy cars and support a lifestyle she could not afford, Parramatta Local Court heard last week.

Investigators were still unsure how some of the money was taken, but believed it involved invoices raised for work that was not carried out.

The Magistrate said that behind the scenes her personal spending had been “out of control”.

He also took into account that she had pleaded guilty and showed remorse. But he said she needed to be punished, society needed to see that as a deterrent.

Officers from the Department of Fair Trading launched an investigation into the affairs of The Strata Agency last year. Soon after that it went into liquidation, with it’s business taken over by former rivals.

 

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Mirvac sales rep talks about Sydney CBD

The Mirvac sales rep who deals with City Tatts, John Carfi, was quoted in the Financial Review again last week. He seems to spend a lot of time talking to journalists.

He was spruiking another Mirvac property development and said one of it’s advantages was it’s proximity to Sydney CBD.

Yes, that could be an advantage.

But the strange part is that he’s spent nine months working on a deal in the centre of the CBD, with City Tattersalls Club, but for some reason he never mentions it.

Neither do Mirvac.

Why would that be?

 

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How are restaurants doing at City Tatts?

A few people were wondering how restaurants were doing at City Tatts. So here are the results for 2013.

  • Restaurants and bars lost $694,000 in 2013.
  • The Esperanto lost $352,000 on sales of $772,000. This must rank as the worst restaurant operation in Sydney.
  • Zest lost $346,000 and sales declined again.
  • Remember, they “had to” close the International Buffet because it was losing money. In the last six years the “alternatives”, Zest and Esperanto, have lost a total of $4,500,000. (Yes, $4,500,000 – that is not a misprint)
  • They even lose money on beverage, something which is almost impossible to do. In 2013 the losses on beverage were a staggering $234,000. Given that the Club would normally charge customers twice or three times it’s cost price this also must be some kind of record for losing money.
  • Also, keep in mind that these restaurants and bars have no rent to pay, which makes the losses even more incredible.
  • It is also worth pointing out that Zest and Esperanto are not cheap. If the meals were being given away at half-price you could understand some losses. But they are charging top dollar for everything which, again. makes the losses even more incredible.

These results clearly show the management ability of Tony Guilfoyle and Patrick Campion (Tweedledum and Tweedledee). And that is in a fairly simple area where they started with every possible advantage.

Now these two are going to try building a 48 storey building on the Club’s site.

How do you think it will go?

 

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Mirvac – 9 months and counting!

Yes, it is now 9 months since Mirvac were anointed as “preferred developer”, having agreed to all major requirements of the tender.

And still Mirvac have said nothing. They have never once made any official statement about the City Tatts deal from the day they were anointed.

This is getting ridiculous. And just how ridiculous was demonstrated by an article in the Financial Review a few weeks ago. The article was about the popularity of inner city apartments and the City Tattersalls Club proposal was mentioned by the journalist who wrote the story. In a bizarre twist, Mirvac’s sales rep John Carfi, the very person who deals with City Tattersalls Club, was quoted in the article. But even then, incredibly, he made no mention of City Tattersalls Club.

This can not be an accident.

Everyone in the Sydney CBD property game can see that Mirvac’s negotiating team are playing hardball – knowing that Tweedledum and Tweedledee will eventually give them whatever they want.

In fact, a few are speculating that Mirvac are deliberately dragging it out because they know the Club can’t last much longer the way it’s being run now. They can see that the Committee and management have lost all interest in the normal operations of the Club and are obsessed with the property development. They figure that within 6 months it will be too late for the Club to turn back.

Actually, once Mirvac finalise a deal with ANZ over the mortgage, it wouldn’t matter too much to them if the Club ceased trading.

But while that is the view of the local sales team dealing with City Tatts we still say there is a real chance that Mirvac will walk away – and not from a high moral standard.

Mirvac have about $10 billion of work in progress. When the higher-ups have a good look at the City Tatts project they might decide that they just don’t need the aggravation. They will realise just how much negative publicity will come from this when it blows up and the truth emerges.

So they may well decide that the City Tatt’s deal is more trouble than it’s worth.

 

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Michael Andrew from KPMG fights corruption?

Who is Michael Andrew, you ask?

Well, he is an accountant who goes around the world lecturing on the dangers of corruption. He co-chaired the working group tasked with developing more effective anti-corruption measures as part of the G20 Australia Summit.

These are some of his thoughts:

“We need a new approach because global corruption is getting worse, not better”

Agreed.

“My hopes are that responsible business and government work collectively to highlight these issues and deal with them”

Ours too.

“My fears are that there are vested interests in particular countries that won’t be responsive to greater transparency and continue to entrench the old ways”

Yes, City Tattersalls Club would be a good example of that.

“It’s a big job, one that requires optimism – and realism”

Ain’t that the truth.

You have to admit he’s done a great job of describing the problem.

But will he do anything?

Well, we would like him to start with KPMG.

He used to be the global chairman and CEO of KPMG (who happen to be City Tatts’ auditors and now also advise on property development).

Maybe Michael could have a word with his ex-colleague, that hopeless fraud James Kennedy, who’s turned a blind eye to every bit of corruption he has encountered at City Tatts.

He could also have a word with Cameron Roan, who discovered, about 5 years after it happened, that Tony Guilfoyle had taken $200,000 from the Club without the knowledge of the Committee. The Committee just ignored Roan’s recommendation that the loan be disclosed to members but Roan signed the accounts anyway and left members in the dark.

 

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Tweedledum didn’t speak at the meeting?

What’s going on at City Tatts?

After the last airhead development briefing we happened to ask “What did Guilfoyle have to say?”

And the answer was “Nothing, he didn’t speak”

What?

“That’s right, he didn’t speak – at all”

Can that be right?

We have attended meetings at City Tatts for over ten years and there has never been a meeting at which Guilfoyle didn’t speak. In fact, most of the meeting was usually taken up by his useless slide presentation, his feeble excuses for failure and his bullshit projections for success in the future.

Does this mean that the Committee have come to their senses and realised he is an imbecile?

If so, why are they still going ahead with his disastrous property plan?

 

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