We Buy Any Car Scam Update 2

WhoisOn the 30th July 2012 the dodgy dealings of webuyanycar.com.au (WBAC) finally came to a head and the company was sent into administration and ultimately, liquidation. Many people lost money including employees, business associates and customers who sold them their motor vehicles in good faith.

I wrote about this unethical dealership in three blog posts. The first one titled Life Lesson Well Learnt outlined my own personal experiences in dealing with them before they went broke. With the flood of comments that soon appeared I realised I wasn’t the only one to experience their callous disregard for other peoples property. Luckily my story was able to find its mark and prevent others from suffering the eventual loss.

My second post came out after they were already placed into liquidation. In that article I included correspondence from Mr. Jeremy Herbert from webuyanycar.com in the USA who was keen to point out that they had no relationship with the Australian business or the Burbages. Unfortunately, it was already too late for many Australian consumers so I pointed people in the direction of Worrells solvency agents to make their case.

Other sites like Stuff Review and Product Review were also doing their best to inform the public as to the devious dealings of the Burbage business, but unfortunately all we could do was become a sounding board for those that had already been hurt.

Then everything went quiet. There has been nothing in the Australian press on the subject of WBAC for many months now and it seemed the Burbages had become harder to find than Christopher Skase. Their dead-of-night Houdini act cost them a million dollar home in Fig Tree and wife Lorraine’s $200,000 Bentley. It also cost around 1,200 trusting consumers over $3.6million dollars according to the Courier Mail.

Back in March this year I received a comment on my article about WBAC going into liquidation from a reader who was convinced that Hampshire Vehicle Sales in the UK was a new business that the Burbages were involved with. I ran the comment and was contacted five days later by Mr. Ryan Overton who claimed to be the proprietor of Hampshire Vehicle Sales and had no affiliation whatsoever with the Burbages.

Mr. Overton stated that he was the sole Director and owner of that company and that they were doing their best to trade through difficult times. He asked me to remove the links and, finding no evidence to link the Burbages to the company, I did so as a gesture of goodwill. Unfortunately I may have been misled.

Stuff Review ran an article over the weekend also linking Hampshire Vehicle Sales with the Burbage family. They went so far as to perform a whois search to ascertain the registrant of the website and according to their site it is Lorraine Burbage. I checked this last night and found the same information – see the image opposite.

Needless to say the comments are now back visible on my website.

Over the weekend I received an email and a comment on one of my posts from a Mr. Henry Winster who informed me that,

“Mr Burbage has been summoned to attend the Federal Court in Brisbane to answer questions in regards to his involvement as a director in the company. This is to be held on 3rd July 2013 I think. Worrells have more information for people wanting to attend as it is open for the public to view. Mr Burbage is not in Australia but has fled back to the UK where he has opened up another business with I guess the same intention of ripping off customers again.”

I checked the Commonwealth Court Portal and both Richard Burbage, and his business partner Mr. Armand Daiga have been summonsed to appear. The case number is: QUD171/2013. If you want to look it up yourself follow the link and click on ‘Federal Law Search’ in the top right of the image on the page you are directed to. You may have to accept the terms of use but after that you will on the search page where you simply enter the case number and hit ‘Search by file number’.

The guys at Stuff Review also picked it up Mr. Winster’s comment and added,

“Regarding webuyanycar / Karlands liquidation. Worrells are currently conducting a public hearing in the Brisbane Federal Court and have already questioned key secure creditors and Karlands ex accountant. A second 2 day hearing is scheduled for 2nd & 3rd July in Brisbane where both directors (Burbage & Diaga) have been summonsed to appear. Whether both will attend is yet to be seen as Burbage is in the UK and has started a similar business.”

Whether Hampshire Vehicle Sales is a Burbage concern or innocent bystander remains to be seen however, just because their names don’t show up on a company search does not mean they are not involved. In my experience ‘silent partners’ are not always that silent so, if you are going to transact with this company do your research and perform your due diligence before you part with your car.

And to everyone in Australia still feeling the pain, good luck and stay strong.


Richard Burbage.

We Buy Any Car Scam Update

Damage control.

Whilst I am happy to see as much pain as possible inflicted upon these miscreant charlatans, please remember that WBAC leased many of the properties it operated from. Although you feel you are taking your frustrations out on WBAC by damaging their premises, you are in fact hurting the livelihood of other innocent parties and perhaps putting yourself at risk of litigation.

“Not Happy” commented on my other WBAC article that windows had been smashed in the buildings on her premises. This person was the landlord of a property rented to WBAC and not affiliated with WBAC themselves. Hopefully her insurance will cover her losses, however if the liquidators have to pay for the damage it will mean less money will be available for those that have lost their cars.

Jason M posted on the Product Review site:

The liquidators Worrell’s advise:

“We understand that there are a number of people who have sold cars to the company and have not been paid. With the liquidation of the company, your claim will be a ‘unsecured debt’ in the company. Please note that regrettably you do not have the right to reclaim your car, only an entitlement to a dividend in the liquidation”

Vehicle owners arent legally able to retrieve their vehicles, although this hasnt stopped some people entering some dealerships and removing their vehicles on a tow truck. (As owners would have surrendered their keys upon “sale”.)

While by the letter of the law, this is illegal, I would assume the liquidator (who has no money due to the insolvency of the company) will be unable to commence any proceedings to get those vehicles back. While the liquidator would have the option of calling the police and reporting the vehicle stolen, it is unclear if the police would regard the matter a civil matter as well.

I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know what the legal ramifications are with repossessing your vehicle and I would certainly never advocate illegal behaviour. So if your car is sitting on a lot somewhere and you know where it is, think very very carefully about your next course of action. You may end up liable for prosecution.

Too many people have been hurt by the reckless, criminal activities of the people in charge of WBAC. Let’s not add to the list.

Positive steps you can take include:

Contact Worrells and register your claim. This is top priority for everyone owed money by WBAC.

If you are in NSW then the NSW Department of Fair Trading have said:

Customers owed money by Kar Land Pty Ltd, trading as Webuyanycars (licence number MD038189), or who have handed their car to the business and have not yet lodged a complaint should contact NSW Fair Trading on 133 220.

Consumer Affairs – Victoria, have also urged people to contact them on 1300 55 81 81. The released this statement the other day:

Kar Land Pty Ltd, which traded as WeBuyAnyCar and operated car yards in Dandenong and Altona, has gone into voluntary liquidation.

The company has appointed liquidators Rajendra Kumar Khatri and Morgan Lane of Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants.

If you have sold your car to WeBuyAnyCar and have yet to receive payment, contact the liquidator immediately on 07 3225 4300 to advise that you are a creditor of the company.

You can also consider making a claim on the Motor Car Trader Guarantee Fund. Customers who have not been paid for their cars are urged to contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81.

For more information on the fund, including who is eligible to claim and what claims are covered, view our Compensation claims – motor cars section.

In a statement, the liquidator has advised that:

  • your claim will be an ‘unsecured debt’ in the company
  • customers do not have the right to reclaim their car, only an entitlement to a dividend in the liquidation
  • creditors should note that WeBuyAnyCar has ceased trading and are advised not to deal with the company.

We have been contacted by more than 30 people regarding this company, and have issued a public warning to consumers not to trade with them. WeBuyAnyCar’s business model is based on obtaining cars from private customers but not paying for them until after the cars have been sold.

In many cases, customers have not been paid for their cars until many weeks afterwards – and sometimes not at all – despite being told they would be paid within 10 days of WeBuyAnyCar taking possession of the vehicle.

The company also operates in New South Wales and Queensland. Consumer Affairs Victoria is working closely with these jurisdictions.

The Creditor Watch website has indicated that there is a creditors meeting to be held on the 16th August (click the button that says View Document Images) . The Insolvency Appointments website confirms the meeting. If you are a creditor, you may want to attend.

The Intellectual Property register has listed several website addresses (trademarks) owned by Kar Land. Trademarkify has images of the proposed logos. Check it out and be aware that they may try and pop up as a ‘different’ business.

Libby Beaumont provided the following details on the Stuff Review website regarding a potential class action she was preparing against WBAC.

Libby Beaumont July 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm
I am in contact with many other people writing blogs and information on the internet about WBAC, I have also complained to ACCC and never had returned emails or phone calls from all at WBAC, if you would be happy to provide me with your details, I plan to colate them as I have a similar experience to you. If you would like to join forces and launch a Civil Class Action claim on webuyanycar.com.au I would be happy to hear from you directly on 0414585607 or willandlibby@netspeed.com.au. Regards- Libby Beaumont

I corresponded with Libby over the weekend and she would be very happy to hear from you.

Good luck everyone. I truly hope we see a happy ending in all this.