A Federal Court ban imposed on the director of besieged finance outfit Mayfair 101 effectively leaves in doubt a $1.6bn tourism vision.
A Federal Court ban imposed on the director of besieged finance outfit Mayfair 101 effectively leaves in doubt a $1.6bn tourism vision.

Court sinks dream of $1.6bn tourism mecca

A FEDERAL Court ban imposed on the director of besieged finance outfit Mayfair 101 effectively leaves in doubt a $1.6bn tourism vision for Mission Beach and Dunk Island.

On Monday Mayfair 101 founder James Mawhinney was banned from advertising investments and accepting funds from any financial product for 20 years.

And assets secured through Mayfair products can't be transferred out of the country.

The decision was a final blow to the Mayfair founder following an Australian Securities and Investments Commission move to shut down investment products found by the court to "mislead and deceive" mum and dad investors lured by the promise of security claimed to be similar to that of a bank.

Justice Stewart Anderson found middle ground between a life ban pushed for by ASIC and a 10-year restraint argued for by Mr Mawhinney's legal team.

 

 

A rainforest clad Island Dunk Island shot before the resort was hit by Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
A rainforest clad Island Dunk Island shot before the resort was hit by Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

In his judgment, Justice Anderson savaged Mr Mawhinney for a "total disregard for the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act", noting he had "no confidence that he will adequately comply with the obligations set out in the legislation in the foreseeable future".

Mission Beach real estate agent Graham Anderson was among more than 100 Mission Beach property owners who sold to Mayfair in an ambitious bid to establish a tourism mecca on the Cassowary Coast.

"We need to have a plan B but no one knows what it is yet," he said.

With liquidators appointed to most Mayfair subsidiaries and the company locked out of two Dunk Island leases an ASIC spokeswoman indicated there was slim chance of any revival.

"He is not allowed to raise any other funds so it's hard to see how (Mayfair) could rise from the ashes," she said.

 

Mayfair 101 founder Mawhinney permanently relocated to Mission Beach with his fiancee and daughter. Picture: Supplied
Mayfair 101 founder Mawhinney permanently relocated to Mission Beach with his fiancee and daughter. Picture: Supplied

However Mission Beach councillor Trudy Tschui was upbeat about the development.

"Mission Beach as a community will be able to recover. Whatever the outcome Mission Beach will bounce back," she said.

The ASIC spokeswoman said a criminal case is pending against Mr Mawhinney.

A penalty hearing based on Corporations Act breaches will convene in July.

James Mawhinney has been contacted for comment.

Originally published as Court sinks Mayfair's Dunk Island dream of $1.6bn tourism mecca



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