Heat on ACCC over Scientologist TV star
The Daily Telegraph
May 05, 2011
A HIGH-PROFILE Sydney developer and senior Scientologist is being investigated over a series of property deals.
The inquiry by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission into Carly Crutchfield - a millionaire property developer who boasts she has been involved in projects around Australia worth $300 million - was launched after Senator Nick Xenophon sent a dossier to ASIC last month.
Senator Xenophon, a vocal opponent of the Church of Scientology, sent a detailed submission to ASIC, which referred the documents to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Queensland woman Larmie Musson, who took her concerns to Senator Xenophon, claims Ms Crutchfield owes her $4.5 million.
Ms Crutchfield, who starred in the TV series The Secret Millionaire .. denies owing any of her investors money
Ms Musson alleges she signed a binding "unconditional" contract with Ms Crutchfield to develop her oceanfront mansion at Redcliffe, in Brisbane, into an 11-apartment complex.
The $5 million deal was made after Ms Musson met Ms Crutchfield at a development seminar in 2008.
The contract would have allegedly secured Ms Musson cash and a penthouse.
Ms Crutchfield, 29, allegedly dissolved the development company in March over concerns about a council development approval.
Ms Musson claims she is out-of-pocket because the development was scrapped.
"I'm selling in a depressed market," Ms Musson said.
Another alleged deal involved Brisbane widow Larraine Bell, who lives in the suburb of Thornlands. Ms Bell claims she was originally promised $1.5 million for the rezoning of her land at the front of her property.
The deal stalled and was later cancelled, not long after Ms Bell secured a $290,000 loan at high interest and she was forced to sell her home.
Ms Crutchfield, who starred in the TV series The Secret Millionaire, admits she walked away from both deals but denies owing any of her investors money or having any personal involvement in Ms Bell's property deal.
"There has been no indication from ACCC or ASIC that they have instituted actions to investigate my company," she said.
"I don't think this story is actually about Carly Crutchfield or my company. It's become about religion."
Ms Crutchfield and her business partners are not believed to have wrongfully breached contracts. All have denied any wrongdoing and Ms Crutchfield said she was considering legal action against Ms Musson for defamation and discrimination.
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