– The door of the gleaming black Mercedes swung open and out stepped a group of men who looked like they meant business.
One of those was a smooth young real estate agent who would normally be driving his luxury car around the leafy Melbourne suburbs, closing multi-million-dollar property deals.
Today, though, he was in the city looking to close a deal of a different kind.
And he had no intention of coming away empty-handed, which is why he’d brought company.
One of the country’s most feared underworld figures, tough-as-nails bikie Toby Mitchell, stepped out of the car, all tattoos, tracksuit pants and toothy smiles.
A bulky offsides called “Slim” Walker joined him.
Both men were wearing bold red T-shirts bearing a brand name that is synonymous with violence: Bandidos.
Together, these men were about to turn a routine creditors’ meeting into anything but.
The first creditors’ meeting over the voluntary administration of property development firm Rivacourt Pty Ltd took place at noon on march 19th at the at the St Kilda Road offices of Bent & Cougle.
The attendance register confirms that Mitchell and Walker had been there too.
They had signed in under their own names, describing themselves as “observers”. Others might have used the term “enforcers”.
The clean-cut real estate agent walked into the room first, followed by the two burly men. Another heavy dressed in plain clothes was seen waiting in the building’s foyer.
Inside the meeting room, the men took their seats around a conference table and proceedings were formally opened.
Sitting directly opposite the indebted company’s director was Mitchell.
It’s fair to assume that at that point, everyone in the room felt more than a little uncomfortable.
This was, after all, one of Australia’s most ruthless men.
A seasoned standover tactician, Mitchell knows that actions sometimes speak louder than words.
He flashed his gold teeth but he said very little.
He didn’t have to. His presence alone was enough to make everyone nervous.
It is alleged Mitchell had been thumbing through a buff manila folder containing what appeared to be colour photocopies of a home and individuals.
Police have been told these appeared to be pictures of the company director’s home and possibly his family.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission records show during the meeting, the circumstances of the debt owed to the young real estate agent were outlined.
Records show that a tribunal had ruled that Rivacourt owed the agent $130,000 in outstanding commissions relating to the agent’s work spruiking a Rivacourt development.
They indicate that the agent suspected the company director had been deliberately trying to dud him and that during the meeting, the agent demanded the money he was owed.
“(The agent) asked the director when he was going to pay the money he was owed,” the documents show.
“(The agent) said that (the director) continued with the litigation to increase his legal costs and planned on leaving the company in this position.”
After half an hour, the meeting ended.
The agent and his goons left, driving away in the gleaming black Mercedes.
The company director is believe to have made a police complaint soon after this incident. The anti-bikie Taskforce Echo is investigating.
But just how a real estate agent from the suburbs found himself in a position to ask one of the hardest of hardened crooks for a hand with a debt is unclear.
(Incidentally, the agent’s promotional material describes him as a man with superior negotiation skills.)
Executives from the well-known real estate firm were said to have been surprised and concerned by the drama, insisting they had no idea anyone associated with the agency had anything to do with bikies.
The agent himself declined to explain his association with Mitchell. He insisted the dispute had been resolved and that he had done nothing wrong.
“I’d be very careful what I write if I were you,” he said.
“There is no criminal act and there was no standover at all.”
Administrator Hamish Mackinnon, of Bent & Cougle, declined to comment and the company director did not return calls.
Standover tactics are standard for bikie gangs.
Those in the property and construction industries say episodes of standover tactics from bikies are increasing.
Lately, bikies have been not only threatening business figures themselves, but targeting their families as well – Carly Crawford


About Jumpin' Jack Cash
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