In October The Herald Sun published an article by PETER MICKELBUROUGH about a couple who claimed they were told by Mick Gatto that he would “do his magic” to recover more than $1.3 million they believed was owed to them by a developers.
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A COUPLE claim they were told Mick Gatto would “do his magic” to recover more than $1.3 million they believed was owed to them by a developer.
But Stuart and Sharon Greig, of Wonga Park, are now suing Mr Gatto’s debt-collection agency, claiming any magic vanished in a puff of incompetence and negligence that left them a further $40,000 out of pocket and unable to recoup the alleged debt.
In a writ filed in the County Court, Mr Greig claims he spoke with Gatto Corporate Solutions director Anthony Swords and the company’s “defacto director” Mick Gatto in October 2015 about $1,364,805 he claimed he was owed by the building company, which the Herald Sun has not named for legal reasons.
At the time, Mr Greig was a real estate agent marketing a residential development built by the company.
Mr Greig alleges he was induced into hiring Gatto Corporate Solutions after being told it had a 99 per cent success rate in recovering debts; that “Mr Gatto will do his magic”; and that “people are intimidated by Mr Gatto”.
Under the deal, the couple claim they paid Gatto Corporate Solutions $30,000 for “out- of-pocket” legal expenses to hire competent solicitors.
In return, it is alleged the debt collectors would get half of any moneys recovered, plus legal fees in excess of $30,000.
The Greigs claim Gatto Corporate Solutions failed to hire competent solicitors or provide adequate funds to properly prepare proceedings.
They allege a botched attempt to place caveats over properties associated with the developer and its directors allowed it to disperse money and assets that could otherwise have been available to meet the alleged debt and left them $10,200 out of pocket after costs went against them.
The Greigs claim the Gatto company failed for a year to recast the pleadings filed by its lawyers despite Mr Sword and Mr Gatto knowing those pleadings were so incompetent, incomplete, irrational and embarrassing that they had been struck out with costs.
The couple accuse Gatto Solutions of forcing them to pay those costs after instructing its lawyers to withdraw from the case.
The Greigs are seeking unspecified damages and orders that all payments made by them to or at the direction of Gatto Solutions be repaid and they be indemnified for all legal costs.
Reported by PETER MICKELBUROUGH, The Herald Sun