Training company owner charged with multiple offences

by L&D23 Aug 2016
A 33-year-old Victorian man has been convicted and fined $20,000 for making false and misleading representations in job advertisements.

Daniel Leong is the former director of the Australian training company Keat Enterprises which went into voluntary liquidation in June 2014.

Earlier this year, after arriving at Sydney International Airport, Leong was met by Australian Federal Police who arrested him on the spot.

Leong has also been the director of a waterproof T-shirt company, a modelling agency and a superfoods lab.

From February 2013 to May 2014, Leong placed more than 20 advertisements on websites such as seek.com.au and gumtree.com.au, and received more than 9,500 applications. The ads were placed for his company, Keat Enterprises.

According to Consumer Affairs Victoria, Leong has now been charged with three offences:

The first offence was ‘misleading conduct regarding employment’.

The ads were presented as job ads, yet they actually required applicants to pay for job training with no prospects of employment.

The majority of the ads did not mention any costs involved and, where costs were mentioned, they were described as ‘Software licensing and CPA monitoring costs’.

When the successful applicants attended an interview with the company, they were subjected to a marketing pitch and offered or sold positions in the training programs for fees between $2,000 and $3,000.

The second offence was ‘false and misleading representations’.

Leong advertised his company as an accounting firm, yet it did not conduct any accountancy services.

Leong also presented his company as a tax agent (or that it was able to perform the services of a registered tax agent) when it was not registered as one.

The third offence is ‘limiting consumer rights’.

Leong entered into an agreement with a consumer that stated ‘no refunds will be provided'.

Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses cannot limit a consumer’s right to a refund if there is a problem with the product or service they have bought.

Leong was also ordered to pay costs of $860. 

In 2015, Keat Enterprises was also convicted of misleading conduct and fined more than $160,000 for breaching consumer laws.
 

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