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Wealth creation guru allegedly used banned lawyer father in $1.2 million Mehajer loan

Mehajer, a shareholder in the Mehajer Bros Pty Ltd company accepting the loan from Unity Funding, is one of Sydney’s most controversial property developers and a former deputy mayor of Auburn. He is named in legal documents as a guarantor for the loan.

Mehajer Bros was placed under external administration in November 2018.

Mehajer is in prison awaiting sentencing after being convicted for perverting the course of justice and making a false statement under oath.

The revelation of Ms Grubisa’s role in the Mehajer deal comes as the self-described leading “wealth educator” in Australia has embarked on an extensive social media campaign to attract new clients to her first big online seminar for the year. She is promising commissions of up to 15 per cent to people who introduce new clients under a new partnership program.

Ms Grubisa has turned over millions of dollars since 2010 by enrolling more than 10,000 people in her property investment courses and selling her asset protection productions. She is one of several charismatic Australian wealth creations specialists who have grown loyal followings by adept use of social media and promising to teach people to become rich through property investment.

Salim Mehajer outside court in August.

Salim Mehajer outside court in August.Credit:Janie Barrett

But Ms Grubisa’s methods have attracted criticism in recent times from former clients, prompting referrals to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and legal professional bodies in NSW and Victoria.

The Family Court of Australia has also referred Ms Grubisa to the Australian Federal Police for her practice of advising clients to use the court list to identify couples going through divorce who may have distressed properties to sell. It is an offence for someone to publicise matters that are before the Family Court.

Ms Grubisa strenuously denies any wrong-doing and has highlighted how her advice on buying distressed assets often delivers mutually beneficial outcomes for sellers and buyers.

Her use of her father, former Sydney solicitor Christopher Fitzsimons, in her DG Legal business has been reported to the NSW Law Society and Victoria’s Legal Services Board.

Mr Fitzsimons, who in recent years has used the name of “Christopher Jackson”, has routinely signed off on legal advice provided in formal letters to Ms Grubisa’s legal clients. He also signed off on invoices for legal work.

One document obtained by The Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald is a statutory declaration purportedly made by a “Christopher Charles Jackson” in which he gives his home address as that of Unity Funding’s Queensland-based owner. Ms Grubisa’s father lives in Sydney.

The statutory declaration was witnessed by someone who signed their name as Dominique Grubisa, a practising solicitor.

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In a statement to The Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald, Ms Grubisa said she had never authorised her father to perform legal work for DG Legal and that he had only been hired to perform administrative duties. She said she was not aware he had been signing off on documents and invoices on her official letterhead and had ceased to do any work for her since early 2018.

Ms Grubisa also said she had never witnessed any statutory declaration by her father using the name Chris Jackson or containing any false information.

Mr Fitzsimons’ practising certificate in NSW was cancelled in 2007 after he was charged with fraudulent misappropriation of money. Mr Fitzsimons was convicted of these offences in 2009 and struck off the roll of local lawyers in 2012.

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Former legal clients of Ms Grubisa said they were not informed that Mr Jackson was Ms Grubisa’s father. Nor were they told of his criminal past and his banning as a practising lawyer.

Ms Grubisa’s mother, Maria Fitzsimons, has also advised some of her daughter’s legal clients despite also being struck off the lawyers’ roll since 2013 for her role in the misappropriation of more than $600,000 in client funds.

Ms Grubisa has previously denied that either of her parents performs legal work. Instead, they had provided administrative support, she said.

The NSW Law Society has been investigating complaints against Ms Grubisa for more than two years. It has declined to say anything publicly, citing a rule that prevents it from commenting on individual practitioners.

Despite operating out of Sydney, Ms Grubisa does not have a legal practising certificate in NSW. Rather, she operates under a certificate granted by Victorian authorities.

  • Contact Richard Baker at richardjb33@protonmail.com

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