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ACCC chases printer ink scammer

Wednesday, 16 August 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

The consumer watchdog has launched legal action in Federal Court to enforce a $50,000 penalty against a printer ink reseller over ‘deceptive and misleading’ practices.

The Court earlier ruled that Tuan Nguyen was knowingly concerned in false or misleading representations made by Artorios Ink in selling printer ink cartridges to five small businesses.

Artorios Ink was a telemarketing company that sold printer cartridges to businesses from 2008 to 2012.

The scam involved contacting businesses and telling staff members their company had agreed to purchase printer cartridges from Artorios Ink, when in fact there was no such agreement.

Artorios Ink represented itself to the businesses as an approved, regular or current supplier of the business, when in fact it was not. Artorios Ink also claimed to have instituted proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria against the businesses to obtain payment for printer cartridges, when in fact Artorios Ink had not instituted any such proceedings.

In 2013, the Court ordered Nguyen to pay a penalty of $50,000 but he has made no payments and filed for bankruptcy.

In her reasons for judgment, Justice Mortimer said: “The conduct involved deceit of these businesses for the financial benefit of Artorios…there was a deliberate and calculated plan constructed to misrepresent to small businesses (through calls to unsuspecting employees or shop managers) some kind of existing supply relationship, then to take advantage of the misrepresentation to supply goods and then demand payment.

“The most serious aspect of the conduct was its premeditated character, the implementation of a system of deceiving unsuspecting employees and owners of small businesses into believing that they had ordered printer cartridges and were obliged to pay for them.”

Artorios Ink was deregistered on 25 January 2015.

The ACCC has now commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Nguyen to enforce payment of a $50,000 penalty for breaches of consumer law.

“As Mr Nguyen has now been discharged from bankruptcy, the ACCC is now seeking a garnishee order requiring Mr Nguyen’s employer to withhold part of his wages in order to pay the penalty previously ordered,” says ACCC deputy chair, Dr Michael Schaper.

“Individuals who have contravened the Australian Consumer Law cannot escape paying Court ordered penalties by filing for bankruptcy. As in this case, the ACCC may take action after they are discharged from bankruptcy.

“If businesses and individuals do not pay penalties ordered by the Court in ACCC proceedings, the ACCC will take action where appropriate to enforce payment of those penalties.”






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