The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court alleging that Mr Laurence Glynne Hann is in contempt of orders made by Justice Tracey on 28 May 2012.
In 2012, Justice Tracey found that Mr Hann had engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct in the promotion and sale of a parcel distribution business for 'Heartlink' branded household products. His Honour found that consumers were misled about the profitability and earnings potential of the business opportunity as well as the overall viability of the business.
Taking into account what Justice Tracey described as ‘an egregious series of contraventions’ of consumer protection law, the Court imposed orders disqualifying Mr Hann from managing a corporation for 15 years as well as preventing him from engaging in certain business activities.
The ACCC now alleges that Mr Hann has breached a 15-year court order imposed by Justice Tracey which prevents Mr Hann from, in trade or commerce, carrying on a business or supplying goods or services:
- by which, or in connection with which, persons are invited to invest money or perform work,
- by which, or in connection with which, any claim is made that moneys or profits earned by the sale of goods are donated to charity, or
- where the goods or services concerned are or include household cleaning products.
The ACCC also alleges that Mr Hann breached other related injunctions ordered by Justice Tracey.
The ACCC alleges that Mr Hann has continued to be directly involved in a business involving the sale of household cleaning products and has continued to make claims that some of the moneys earned from the sale of those goods would be donated to charity. Mr Hann also allegedly recruited a person to make sales and distribute products in connection with that business.
“The 15 year injunctions ordered by the Court were imposed to prevent Mr Hann from establishing companies and other entities and using them to promote what the judge described as dubious business opportunities in order to obtain funds,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The decision to institute proceedings demonstrates the ACCC’s determination to pursue contempt action when it alleges that a person has breached court orders which the ACCC has obtained for the protection of consumers and small businesses,” Mr Sims said.
A directions hearing for the ACCC’s proceedings will be listed in the Federal Court in Melbourne.
On 28 May 2012, Justice Tracey found Mr Hann had engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct in the promotion and sale of a parcel distribution business for 'Heartlink' branded household products.
Justice Tracey disqualified Mr Hann from managing a corporation for 15 years and from engaging in certain business activities, and ordered him to pay a $450,000 civil pecuniary penalty.