Sunshine Coast Trader fined $557,000
A Sunshine Coast trader was ordered to pay over $557,000 in fines and restitution yesterday (13 April 2016) by the Maroochydore Magistrates Court after being charged by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) with failing to supply camper trailers paid for by consumers.
Peter John Nulty pleaded guilty to eight counts of accepting payment and failing to supply under the Australian Consumer Law and fined $40,000. Mr Nulty’s two companies, Mirage RV Pty Ltd and PJ and PT Nulty, were also fined $100,000 each.
Convictions were recorded against both companies.The court heard Mr Nulty took payments from eight consumers between late 2013 and mid 2014 for camper trailers. The consumers were given a series of delivery dates, but they were not met and refunds were not provided.Mr Nulty was ordered to pay $317,939.61 in restitution to the eight affected consumers. In sentencing, the court considered Mr Nulty’s failure to cooperate with OFT’s investigation and that Mr Nulty continued to take payments from consumers even while knowing that he couldn’t supply the camper trailers because a fire had damaged his business premises.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said the fine sent a strong message to other traders. “Taking money from customers to prop up ailing finances invariably leads to a deeper financial hole, and leaves the business and its owners open to prosecution.“ As a consumer, you have a right to expect that goods and services you pay for will be delivered as promised” said Mr Bauer. If a business does fail to deliver, consumers can make a complaint to the OFT