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20-261MR Debt collection company and director charged with credit and deception offences
Black Collections Pty Ltd ACN 615 105 345 (Black Collections) has been charged with engaging in credit activities without a licence and holding out that it could collect on debts when it could not.
Following an ASIC investigation, it is alleged that between 5 October 2016 and around 12 March 2018, Black Collections collected consumer credit debts without holding an Australian Credit Licence. It is also alleged that on 16 December 2016 Black Collections falsely advertised that it was authorised to act as a debt collector in NSW.
The director of Black Collections, Ms Louise Medley of Bondi Beach New South Wales, has been charged with two counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception. It is alleged that between 16 December 2016 and 17 August 2017 and between 18 August 2017 and 13 March 2018, Ms Medley dishonestly obtained funds by collecting consumer credit debts while knowing Black Collections was not licenced to act as a debt collector. ASIC alleges that Ms Medley dishonestly obtained $216,409.32.
ASIC commenced its investigation after receiving a report of misconduct from the public.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
At the time of the alleged offences, Black Collections did not qualify for an exemption from the need to hold an Australian Credit Licence.
Black Collections has been charged with contravening s29(1) and s30(3) of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, respectively. The maximum criminal penalty for s29 is 2 years imprisonment and 1 year imprisonment for s30.
Ms Medley was charged with two counts of contravening s192E(1)( b) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The maximum criminal penalty for s192E(1)(b) is 10 years imprisonment.
The matter was heard on 20 0ctober 2020 at the Downing Centre Local Court in NSW. The matter has been adjourned to 8 December 2020 for further mention.
The matters were heard at the Downing Centre Local Court on 8 December 2020 and adjourned to 2 February 2021.
Editor's note 2:
At a hearing on 2 February 2021, Black Collections and Ms Medley entered pleas of not guilty. The matter has been listed for a two day hearing on 17 and 18 June 2021.
Editor’s note 3:
A review of the total commission collected by Black Collections, and therefore financial benefit obtained by Medley, identified that the full period from 16 December 2016 to 12 March 2018 had not been used. On 29 October 2020 ASIC reported a $28,016.81 benefit.
Editor's note 4:
On 17 June 2021, Black Collections pleaded guilty and was convicted of engaging in unlicensed credit activities and holding out that it held a licence that would authorise it to collect on consumer debts when it did not. The matter involving Ms Medley was adjourned to the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney for a contested hearing on 18 October 2021 (refer: 21-159MR).
Editor's note 5:
The directions hearing set for Ms Medley on 18 October 2021 has been vacated due to the measures the Local Court currently has in place in response to COVID-19. The hearing has been re-listed to 10 May 2022.