break free events charged by accc

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    ACCC institutes against Break Free Events over property investment promotion

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted legal proceedings against Giann & Giann Pty Ltd and its director, Mr John Giannopoulos, alleging misleading and deceptive conduct over the promotion of a Secrets of a Real Estate Millionaire property investment seminar.


    Giann & Giann Pty Ltd trades under the name Break Free Events and is alleged to be responsible for advertisements which appeared in a number of Australian newspapers in late 2003, advertising a "Free Event” to be presented by property investor Mr Peter Flanagan.
    The ACCC has alleged that in the newspaper advertisements, as well as brochures handed out to attendees of the free seminars advertising a four-day course, the following representations were made:

    that attendees of the free seminar would be given a unique formula of property investment strategies that when implemented, were certain to produce profit and wealth through investment in property and
    that attendees of the four-day course who implemented the property investment strategies taught would be likely to become wealthy by investing in property, even if they had no money at the time they commenced to implement the strategies
    when, in fact:

    Giann & Giann did not have reasonable grounds for making the representations
    the investment strategies were not unique and did not consist of a formula that when implemented was certain to produce wealth
    those who implemented the property investment strategies were not likely to become wealthy by investing in property, whether or not they had money of their own at the time they commenced to implement the strategies and
    the strategies were not actually taught at the free seminars.

    The ACCC further alleges that Mr Giannopoulos aided, abetted, counselled or procured; and was directly or indirectly knowingly concerned in or a party to Giann & Giann’s alleged misleading and deceptive conduct in promoting the seminars and course.


    The ACCC is seeking:

    declarations that Giann & Giann and Mr Giannopoulos have breached the Trade Practices Act 1974
    injunctions restraining Giann & Giann and Mr Giannopoulos from publishing the advertisements and making the representations;
    corrective newspaper advertisements; and
    costs
    A directions hearing will be held before Justice North on 27 September at 10.15 a.m. in the Federal Court, Melbourne.


    Release # MR 203/04
    Issued: 21st September 2004
 
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