Double-dipping and undisclosed kickbacks: Director under investigation

by Mackenzie McCarty08 Oct 2013

Property investment advisory group, Property Secrets and its director, Paul Giezekamp, have been suspended by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) following allegations made by current affairs show, Today Tonight.

Late last week, Giezekamp was described on the program as a ‘smooth talking property spruiker’ who has ‘conned’ investors into losing their life savings. The program interviewed recently widowed Property Secrets client, Edia Fisher, who says she went to one of the company’s seminars in the hopes of setting her children up financially for the future.

Fisher claims Property Secrets offered a deal where they found investors an older property, with plans to build a granny flat, providing investors with two dwellings generating income. She subsequently bought two investment properties and claims Property Secrets asked for $5,000 as their commission, with promises to provide builders, painters, gardeners and plumbers.

However, Fisher, who paid in advance as per the contract requirements, claims she paid $40,000 for renovations and that all she got was a ‘very basic makeover, including a coat of paint and very basic kitchen’. She has since sold both properties at a loss.

Fellow Property Secrets investors claim Giezekamp ripped them off with secret kickbacks, while a former employee provided numerous examples to the show of double-dipping invoices.

Up until now, Giezekamp had been a well-respected property investment adviser, who was even interviewed by Broker TV last year.

In the above interview, Giezekamp claimed brokers could benefit from forming an alliance with buyers agents.

“It actually started over in America and it’s now flavour of the month here in Australia…If you don’t know how to buy property, or if you’re a mortgage broker that doesn’t have that income, they would actually marry quite well.”

Paul Giezekamp's office was unable to provide comment to Australian Broker in time for today's deadline.