No win for buyers

The site plan for the Officer land release by Winning Post Estate. 182572_01

By Rowan Forster

Land developer Winning Post Estate has collapsed into liquidation, leaving those who splurged life-savings for land at Bayview Road, Officer, out of pocket.

The Victorian Supreme Court issued a wind up order against directors Hai Quang Dinh and Khuyen Tri Nguyen in May, devastating dozens of aspiring home owners who have invested tens of thousands of dollars into the failed venture.

Liquidator Stephen Michell, of PCI Partners, was advised that 30 blocks of land had been sold for between $300,000 and $400,000 each, with a minimum 10 per cent deposit – indicating the company is stockpiling at least $900,000.

He said the company’s bank account records revealed $262,075 was withdrawn on the day Mr Dinh and Mr Nguyen met with him, leaving just $82,390 remaining.

The remaining funds are allegedly being held by the company’s solicitor.

“I issued a demand to the directors for the repayment of those funds, however the directors failed to comply,” Mr Michell said.

For Diana Toth, who paid more than $36,000 in a deposit for land, it is a debilitating blow.

“The entire episode makes me feel anxious and sick,” she said.

“We’re at a total loss and it doesn’t help that the directors aren’t being forthcoming with the truth.

“We don’t know what’s happening with our blocks of land or our money and it’s devastated our entire lives.”

Eleven people affected by the company’s liquidation have contacted Ms Toth sharing similar experiences.

One purchaser contacted by Star News said he was in such a poor frame of mind that he could not bring himself to discuss it without destroying his day.

While customers have been severely affected by the company’s alleged failure, tradesmen, conveyancers and real estate agents have also reportedly been short-changed.

In an email exchange obtained by Star News, the company advised purchasers that works would commence in November, 2017.

That date was later stalled until the fourth quarter of 2018.

Clairmont Banks, a real estate agency in Templestowe, first pursued the company’s administration in April over a mounting debt.

While Star News has been unsuccessful in trying to contact the company’s directors, a solicitor acting on behalf of the company has advised PCI Partners that they intend to dispute the “erroneously obtained” winding up order in the Supreme Court.

They claim it is inappropriate for the directors to service the liquidator’s request for the missing $262,075 to be provided while the application is proceeding.

“Until such time that I am served with such an application to terminate the winding up, I will proceed with conducting investigations into the affairs of the company,” Mr Michell said.

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