Bundaberg businessman faces four alleged offences
BUNDABERG businessman Mark Mergard was refused a suppression order by a magistrate over matters mentioned before an open Bundaberg Magistrates Court.
Mergard did not have to appear but his legal representative, Mr Jellyman, immediately sought a suppression order.
Mr Mergard faces four alleged offences put forward by the Office of Fair Trading.
He is charged with being an agent who failed to pay an amount into a general trust account; dishonestly render account knowing amount to be false; fail to account to a client; and being a licensee/real estate salesperson dishonestly converts amount to licensee's or salesperson's own or someone else's use.
His lawyer, in a phone-in to the court for the brief mention, unsuccessfully sought the suppression order, saying two of the offences were punishable with a maximum penalty of five years' jail.
He said public knowledge of the alleged offences could cause considerable commercial damage. He told magistrate Neil Lavaring "a person in the public sector sent through a text message" saying they were aware of the charges.
The text had been sent on October 18. He said the matters at this stage are a complaint on summons, "very few people should be aware of it".
Mr Lavaring told Mr Jellyman it was an open court, and queried if the matters were indictable, or may go to a higher court.
The lawyer said they could as either of the parties could elect to.
A representative for the Office of Fair Trading, Ms Gloom, said she was not sure that a date in early March would be enough time to have a brief of evidence prepared for Mr Mergard's legal representatives.
Mr Lavaring said that with regard to the suppression order application he would not be doing that at this stage of the matter.
And people could not get access to court documents on the matter.
The matters were adjourned to March.
Mr Mergard has previously denied any claims made against him.