Henry Kaye and Jamie McIntyre.Mystery surrounds the fate of tens of million of dollars outlaid by 700 mum and dad investors in a Bendigo land-banking scheme linked to Jamie McIntyre and the sister of notorious get-rich-quick spruiker Henry Kaye after administrators took control of the company overseeing the project last week.
Under the scheme, investors bought so-called “wholesale options” on undeveloped land on the outskirts of Bendigo, spruiked by Mr McIntyre’s controversial marketing firm, 21st Century.
A creditors meeting for the company behind the Bendigo project, Midland Hwy Pty Ltd, was held last Tuesday in the same week that Mr Kaye’s five-year ban from managing public companies expired.
The Bendigo project, now known as Hermitage, was the second of a string of land-banking schemes across Victoria linked to Mr Kaye and/or Mr McIntyre.
Mr Kaye had a direct role in the first of the projects in regional Shepparton, which fell into liquidation in 2012 with option holders unaware three years later about the fate of their investment.
Since 2010, property spruikers Market First and 21st Century have sold options and land packages in proposed luxury estates, often on farmland not yet approved for development in outer western Melbourne, Ballarat, Wallan and Bendigo.
Kaye’s sister Julia Feldman was a key player in both companies.
Both Mr Kaye and Mr McIntyre are expected to be called before a Senate inquiry triggered by a Fairfax Media investigation earlier this year about the proposed luxury developments. Thousands of investors across Australia have sunk more than $100 million – and possible three times that amount – into the schemes now also under investigation by corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. More than $30 million was tipped into the Bendigo scheme alone.
A list of unconfirmed creditors to the company include known Henry Kaye associate Konrad Bobilak and Evans Ellis Lawyers, a central player in most of the schemes.
None of the mum and dad investors in the Bendigo project, who paid $40,000 for initial options over blocks of land – some purchased more than one – were represented at the creditors’ meeting.
Belarus-born Mr Kaye first came to prominence in the early 2000s as the head of a get-rich-quick property empire that targeted unsophisticated investors. It collapsed in 2003 owing 3500 investors up to $60 million.
He was later found by the Federal Court to have breached the Trade Practices Act, and in 2010 was barred from managing companies for five years.
Fairfax has revealed how Mr McIntyre’s 21st Century group, his brother Dennis, Kaye’s sister Julia Feldman and seminar organiser Global 1 are behind a much larger property investment network selling options on land packages on farmland that has not yet gained development approval.
An ASIC investigator who attended the Midland Hwy creditors’ meeting said the regulator was investigating the collapse.
Ben Skinner from legal firm Evans Ellis, who represented the majority of creditors at the meeting, including his own company, moved to replace the appointed administrators PPB Advisory with another firm, Hall Chadwick, under directors Richard Albarran and David Ross.
Mr Ross said Hall Chadwick was investigating the company’s affairs and liaising with ASIC about their investigations.
Mr Skinner, a key player in many of the land-banking schemes, told Fairfax on Friday that the options on the Bendigo land had been “assigned” to another company Bilkurra Investments.
Bilkurra would proceed with the development as planned, Mr Skinner said, but he would not recommend a contact for option holders concerned about their investments.
Option holders concerned for their investment should contact administrators, Hall Chadwick.
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