A BALLARAT solar and wind energy provider which ripped off local consumers to the tune of almost $300,000 has been ordered by a court to cease operation.
The sole director, Mark Bailey, of the former Delacombe-based business, Bailey Designed Engineering (BDE), was banned in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday from managing the company.
Bailey was not in court for the proceedings.
A lawyer for Consumer Affairs Victoria told The Courier the Supreme Court of Victoria in February ordered BDE be put into liquidation.
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson yesterday made another order which forces Bailey to provide a disclaimer on any future website, outlining these court orders.
Affidavits allege BDE failed to supply goods, or provided faulty goods, to more than 30 customers over the past few years.
One affidavit states 33 consumers paid more than $280,000 to BDE for goods that were never provided or goods that were faulty.
The court heard yesterday most of the consumers have never seen their money again.
One consumer lost more than $48,000 in his dealings with BDE, the court heard.
Consumer Affairs Victoria yesterday warned consumers of dodgy businesses.
The lawyer urged consumers to not pay large deposits, adding a deposit of more than 10 per cent was generally a warning sign.
“And don’t be fooled by websites,” the lawyer said.
“It’s (BDE) simply one man in a garage with no money and no resources.”
Bruce Bull, who led the push for BDE to be investigated, yesterday welcomed the result.
“Obviously this is a great result,” Mr Bull said.
“But it should have happened years ago. I know of people who have lost up to $80,000 ... and have never again seen that money.”