Property seminar provider Steve Goodey has won a $396,000 High Court judgement against fellow property guru Phil Jones of Richmastery fame but he may have difficulty collecting.
By Jenny Ruth
Justice Patricia Courtney in the Auckland High Court awarded Goodey the money for breaches of contract in failing to ensure Goodey was paid money owed him by Jones-controlled companies.
In May 2009, shortly after Jones incorporated Property Teachers NZ Goodey began working for that company as a contractor in marketing and presenting a mentoring program called the Millionaire Mastery VIP Programme. Goodey's and Jones' client databases were consolidated and Jones promised to pay Goodey 60% of the profits from the mentoring program.
At the end of 2009, Goodey became chief executive of Property Teachers and was promised 50% of its profits in addition to his 60% of the mentoring program's profits. Some of the money owed was paid but most was not, Justice Courtney said in her judgement. By the end of 2010, Property Teachers was insolvent “and there is evidence that most of its revenue was diverted to meet Mr Jones' personal expenses,” Justice Courtney said. Jones failed to provide documents despite court orders for discovery made in May last year.
The 395,782.22 judgement will accrue 5% interest from May 4, 2010. Goodey was also awarded costs. “Judgement is one thing, collection is most certainly a separate issue,” Goodey told Landlords. Jones moved to the US in September 2008 and Goodey says he understands his former colleague is still resident there. “I understand he's actually partying it up in Las Vegas this weekend.” Goodey says he doesn't have proof that Jones still has assets in New Zealand but that he is starting liquidation proceedings against Jones in both New Zealand and the US.
“He has a track record for not settling these types of disputes – of which I understand there are many – until the very last minute,” Goodey says.
However, pursuing the case against Jones “wasn't really about collection … you can't get away with this stuff. It's just not right. It destroys the trust people put in us when they give us money to provide a service. It was time somebody took him down a notch,” he says. “He took the money and left me servicing the clients.” Richmastery went into liquidation in mid-2009 owing creditors more than $75,000.