The Federal Court has sentenced the former company director of a parcel distribution business for ‘Heartlink’ branded products, Laurence Hann, to five months imprisonment for failing to comply with court orders made against him in May 2012, following ACCC action for contempt of Court.
The court found Mr Hann in contempt of court and ordered him to serve two weeks of the five-month sentence with the remainder suspended. The court also ordered Mr Hann to pay the ACCC’s full costs.
“This decision reinforces the importance of abiding by any orders which the ACCC has obtained for the protection of consumers,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
In May 2012, Heartlink company director, Laurence Hann was banned for 15 years from managing a company and penalised $450,000 after the Federal Court found his conduct amounted to an ‘egregious series’ of contraventions of competition and consumer law.
The judgment handed down concerned false, misleading or deceptive conduct in the promotion and sale of a parcel distribution business for ‘Heartlink’ branded household products. The Court found that consumers were misled about the profitability and earnings potential of the business opportunity as well as the overall viability of the business.
The ACCC filed proceedings for contempt on 14 December 2015 alleging that Mr Hann had breached these injunctions by being involved in a business selling household cleaning products, claiming that some of the money from the sale of those goods would be donated to charity and recruiting a person to sell and distribute products in connection with that business.
On 7 October 2016, Justice Tracey made orders by consent that Mr Hann was guilty of each contempt charge brought by the ACCC.
In handing down his sentencing judgment yesterday Justice Tracey stated: “The offending which Mr Hann acknowledges is…of a most serious character.”