Aboriginal curses haunt the property where Peter van Lieshout, brother of A-Mart billionaire, wants to establish Nightcap Village with a health spar promoted by American celebrity Don Tolman.
According to locals, the land was cursed by aborigines after a massacre by brutal whitefella. For those who lost entire life-savings after investing in the Mt Burrell land-share scam between 2014-16, the hurt and harm is curse enough to add flame to legend.
With ongoing court battles and blogwars between defrauded investors and the primary controller of the alleged fraud, Adrian Brennock, the scam has expanded and changed name from Bhula Bhula Village Community with Mt Burrell Commercial that fleeced 21 families of over $2 million, to Mt Warning Eco Village, Nightcap on Minjungbal and now Nightcap Village.
Ignoring a storm of local opposition, the first attempt to build Nightcap Village in the environmentally protected valley received approval from Tweed Shire Council when Peter's wife, Joan van Lieshout was mayor. Unable to finance necessary infrastructure, the development failed in 2009 and development approval lapsed.
Five years later, Bhula Bhula Village Community was co-founded by Mark Darwin and "AB," Adrian Brennock, also known as Andrew Brennon. Building an online following using truthology.org, freedomsummits.com and social media, Darwin and Brennock advertised an "ethical investment opportunity" offering co-ownership of land to those providing purchase money for two Mt Burrell properties.
Investors were misled to believe that land share occupancy was allowed on the property with development approval in process, and the scam was given credibility by appointment of Mullumbimby lawyer Wrothwell Wall as "Community Lawyer," into whose trust account investors paid funds in good faith.
Receiving almost $2 million from investors, lawyer Wroth Wall endorsed purchase of the first property at 3222 Kyogle Rd, Mt Burrell. This trusted lawyer then allowed AB to establish personal ownership and control of the property with a $1 shareholding.
Investors were denied promised co-ownership of the land then evicted from the property by Brennock, without restitution of funds, after triggering litigation by Tweed Council in the Land and Environment Court.
Again using investors' funds, the adjoining property including the iconic Sphinx Rock Cafe, servo, shops and caravan park was also purchased. Angry, disenfranchised investors were threatened, harassed and slandered when they attempted litigation to recover their losses.
In 2016, brazenly defying those they had defrauded, Darwin and Brennock made shareholder agreements with neighbor Peter van Lieshout to join the stolen properties to his 3,000 acre estate and continue the scam on a larger scale in a venture named Mt Warning Eco Village.
Exposed in local newspapers, blogs and social media as an ongoing fraud, Darwin and Brennock initiated defamation claim in NSW Supreme Court twice requesting urgent injunctions for court orders to gag the publication of information that may warn potential new investors about the scam. Their first injunction was withdrawn after evidence of fraud was revealed and the second claim of injurious falsehood in the blogs of defrauded investors was denied by Justice Lucy McCallum.
|Home-sites on sale without development approval|
After details of the alleged fraud were revealed in the media and the courts, the name was changed to Nightcap Village and continued to be advertised online as a viable intentional community with valid development approval in place.
The contested land was mortgaged in 2017 by Brennock who requested receivership of the property by Vincents' liquidator, Steven Staatz, in a phoenix move intended to transfer legal ownership of the stolen property to Nightcap Village, while divesting liability to defrauded investors.
With evidence of collusion in crime between Brennock and Vincents, attempts to prevent the phoenix move are ongoing in Brisbane Federal Court, where the matter was adjourned by Derrington J on February 25 2019, without hearing closing arguments.
In Sydney Supreme Court of Equity an initiative by defrauded investors to recover the stolen properties on grounds of fraud brings charges of fiduciary misconduct against lawyer Wroth Wall. The alleged cyber-scam has also been reported to Federal Police.
Continuing to sell "home-sites" through exclusive agency Nightcap Realty, Richard Moate misrepresents the status of litigation, and continues to solicit sales with promises to potential new investors that development approval is "coming soon".
Those deceived investors who swallowed the lies and suffered the curse of shattered dreams and empty bank accounts hope that truth will prevail and justice will be upheld.
Meanwhile, any ingenuous idealist still throwing hard-earned equity at the ongoing land-share nightmare cannot complain they were not warned.
|Brisbane Courier Mail report, 2016|