Gold Coast Sheraton Mirage caveat stops Pearls Group sale

Gold Coast Sheraton Mirage caveat stops Pearls Group sale
Gold Coast Sheraton Mirage caveat stops Pearls Group sale

A caveat is blocking the sale of the $100 million Gold Coast Sheraton Mirage resort.

The Queensland government has issued a caveat temporarily blocking the sale to help class action lawyers seeking to take control of it in the interests of Indian investors.

In 2009, before its collapse, India’s $10 billion failed Pearls Ponzi scheme brought more than $100 million of the scheme’s money to Australia, buying the Sheraton Mirage

Barrister Niall Coburn, a former investigator with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission who is running the class action with Shine Lawyers, told The Australian the Queensland government registrar of titles had lodged a cav­eat.

The Federal Court in Brisbane will decide this week whether to grant a longer-term caveat over the properties.

A 92-page originating applic­ation filed by the class action lawyers details some of the devastation wrought by the Pearls scheme and its founder, Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, now in an Indian jail.

Pearls, was spruiked in India by Australian cricketer Brett Lee, who was paid $300,000 for his services.

It promised investors huge ­returns if they invested in land parcels across India.

In 2014 Pearls Group, the New Delhi based property group was accused of allegedly duping Indian investors by promising agriculture land in a so-called $10 billion ponzi scheme.

The India CBI registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating under Sections 120B and 420 of IPC against Pearls Group managing director Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, his two companies Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL) and Pearls Golden Forest Limited (PGFL) and their director Sukhdev Singh.

The CBI claimed the documents recovered by it during searches at the premises of Delhi-based business groups PACL and PGF show they allegedly used ponzi scheme to cheat nearly five crore investors of Rs 45,0000 crore.

It is an associated New Delhi-based Pearls Group that paid $62 million for the Sheraton Mirage in 2009. It was the Christopher Skase-built resort on Queensland's Gold Coast. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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