Coast couple Chris and Victoria Kerrisk are pleased with the outcome of a court case after they were awarded more than $200k in damages.
Coast couple Chris and Victoria Kerrisk are pleased with the outcome of a court case after they were awarded more than $200k in damages.

Couple awarded $200k after investment scheme fails

A Coast business couple have been awarded more than $200,000 in damages after an investment scheme went sour.

Maroochydore District Court heard Buderim couple Chris and Victoria Kerrisk had in late 2017 been offered an opportunity to be involved in offshore trading.

The offer came from Brisbane businessman Andrew Michael Carr, who is listed as director of Regal Bridges Pty Ltd.

At the time he was also a director of Modena Properties Pty Ltd.

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The offer also came from Modena's legal counsel, Joshua Odin Stuart Deem.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents show Modena has been in administration since July 2018.

The deal was in two parts.

The court heard Mr and Mrs Kerrisk would obtain a $20 million loan via a "sinking fund" and then they would use $10 million of those funds to participate in offshore trading.

Judge Glen Cash said Mr Carr and Mr Deem made "multiple representations" to the Kerrisks to induce them into an agreement to pay a commitment fee and other amounts.

Judge Cash in a judgment published on Thursday said those representations were fraudulent, false and contravened Australian Consumer Law.

He said they were also unconscionable and contravened the ASIC Act.

The Kerrisks in December 2017 were unaware of that and agreed to pay a $175,000 commitment fee to Modena Properties to facilitate the offshore trading.

Judge Cash said Mr Carr and Mr Deem promised the Kerrisks the fee would be fully refundable if Modena was unable to carry out the investment.

A few months later Mr Carr and Mr Deem told the Kerrisks further payments of $5000 and $15,000 to third parties, not the subject of the court proceeding, were needed in order to facilitate the investments.

The Kerrisks paid the money.

But by about May 22, 2018, reality of a deal gone sour started to kick in.

Mr Carr told the Kerrisks the investment would not be possible.

Two days later he told them while the commitment fee would be refunded, it would be in payments over four months.

The Kerrisks offered Mr Carr a payment plan two weeks later, asking that he repay $25,000 in two weeks, $50,000 within a month and $100,000 within a year.

They got their first $25,000 back two-and-a-half weeks later but that was it.

Mr Carr continued to acknowledge the refund and in December 2018 offered to pay 3 per cent interest on the outstanding amount for a couple of months in return for an extension to pay.

But the initial $25,000 was the only payment that eventuated.

The Kerrisks were awarded what they had asked the court for when Judge Cash ordered Mr Carr and Mr Deem pay them $205,363.03 in damages.

Judge Cash also ordered they pay the Kerrisks $27,184.14 in legal costs as well as Mr Deem pay a further $1394 for other legal costs.

Mr Kerrisk said he and his wife were pleased with the outcome.

"The ruling is very much as we have been arguing through this process," Mr Kerrisk said.



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