Franchisor faces 100 criminal charges

bryers2Blue Chip was set up as a franchise by Mark Bryers.

Business format franchising is very useful in insulating owners from liability. One type of liability is when people, downstream, sue the corporation because of its alleged fraudulent dealings. Bryers set up +160 companies.

  • Not many kiwi real estate investors are smiling as much as  Bryers, a disbarred lawyer left, appears to be these days while biding his time in sunny Australia.

The New Zealand Herald and Jared Savage report on the latest attempts to bring Bryers to justice (Blue Chip founder faces 100 charges).

Criminal charges have been laid against Blue Chip co-founder Mark Bryers for his part in the property company’s $80 million collapse.

More than 100 charges have been laid against Bryers for alleged breaches of the Companies Act.

They follow a six-month inquiry ordered by the Registrar of Companies.

Bryers is living in Sydney, Australia running a similar type of real estate company. The Serious Fraud Office and Commerce Commission are also investigating.

To Recap:

More than 2,000 investors are out of pocket after 22 Blue Chip-related companies owing more than $80 million were put into liquidation last year.

Many investors are retired and face losing their homes.

About the only person working to try to recover any investor money is…

Paul Dale, an Auckland lawyer acting for many of the investors, said he was not surprised charges had been laid.

He welcomed the prosecution, but called on the Government to bail out those who stood to lose everything because of the Blue Chip collapse.

In a related story called Mark Bryers still gets rent cash, Rebecca Milne quotes a  67 year-old who as saying it’s too late for her and her 72 year-old husband:

“We’ve been to the doctor more in the last 12 months than we’ve ever been in our lives. We’re just so stressed about it all.

“We’ve already sold our home. We’re in a one-bedroom council flat. That’s all we’ve got.”

The New Zealand government has yet to explain how such a large-scale fraud could occur, let alone take steps to prevent it in the future.

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4 Responses to Franchisor faces 100 criminal charges

  1. Carol Cross says:

    I think all governments tend to treat “white collar” criminals who steal great amounts of money much less harshly than the average citizen is treated under the civil and criminal laws of the nation.

    For example! an ordinary person who tries to shoplift a $5.00 item and then isn’t allowed to make payment for the item because the merchant then couldn’t demand a $200 civil recovery fee, under statute, will immediately feel the great power of government and the threat of criminal prosecution for their “crime” against the people if they don’t opt to pay the $200 civil recovery to the merchant.

    However, the really BIG thieves who wear the uniform of respectibility and incorporate themselves, and are rich, are more often merely punished by the civil laws of the country and escape criminal prosecution entirely for stealing from individual citizens.

    Like Madoff in the US, they get to reside in their penthouse appartments and watch TV and pay their attorneys from the money they dishonestly appropriated from others even when the government charges them with felony fraud.

    There is no doubt that there is a double standard in the law throughout the World and now the people would like their governments to explain how these really big thieves pulled all of this off right under the nose of government regulators.

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  2. Why not? Many of these animals are the very ones that get them into office! Is it really that surprising? The guy with the gold writes the rules.

    Those with money buy off the politicians and the law firms and the lobbyists. If they were to take quick action, they might expose themselves. The little guy needs to stop defending only himself, or giving up and laying down and organize and stand up and stop swallowing the abuse! In addition, is there one damn law firm out there that hasn’t sold its soul to the corporate control?

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  3. Les Stewart says:

    Bloody Franchise,

    In analyzing any industry, it is important to know how the cash flows. Interests always accrues to those that influence the economics.

    Les

    Like

  4. Les Stewart says:

    Carol,

    I agree that white collar crime is given a very easy pass in almost all countries. I think the most effective means of discouraging wrongdoings is to have a means of having information about their reputation accessible at a very low cost.

    The internet offers this promise.

    It is up to us to build the information infrastructure to fulfill that promise. I would much rather trust a small group of volunteers maintaining a wiki website than wait for Big Brother government to say they will protect us.

    They may have the best intentions in the world, but commercial interests are corrosive to democracy. This is not a shot at anyone: it is simply an accurate observation of the nature of corporate objectives.

    We will continue to have predators as long as citizens are willing to delegate their responsibility for watching out for their fellow man. This isn’t socialism: it’s just plain common sense, well-known by depression-era farmers that developed the co-operative movements in North America.

    Les

    Like

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