To whom it may concern, My name is Elliot Sgargetta. I was the recipient of what we estimate to be a $1,000,000 offer covered in Submission #2 as published by the Senate Inquiry into Foreign Bribery.
I owned a home in Kalorama that was mortgaged to National Australia Bank, represented by global law firm Gadens Lawyers.
I was the vendor of that home to a family who, unknown to anyone else, were US citizens from a family with a background in Law Enforcement and IT industry in Silicon Valley.
Every time the mortgage payout money was proffered with a bank cheque, Gadens wanted extra money, in the region of $16,000 to $30,000, to make fallacious legal problems go away.
A dispute over $24,000 ended up in the High Court and I estimate that Bank Shareholders are about $600,000 worse off at the end of the day.
How could a bank manager Melissa Thomas think that it was in the bank’s best interest to push little people around.
The ‘legal problem’ was never curable by handing over the agreed payout amount early and in full.
The legal problem was only curable by giving them extra money for extra legal fees and “extra interest” (even though the agreed payout was inclusive of legal fees and any extra interest).
As I never received a bill for legal fees, I think that could be illegal and unethical in itself (but the Legal Services Board whitewashed things anyway). I queried this extra interest and its rate and the contractual basis.
Things felt extortionate to me and the American buyers. Gadens were impervious to me for years.
Gadens were untroubled by the Financial Ombudsman Service casting doubt over their independence.
Judges Whelan and Santamaria essentially found that Gadens lied in Court. Gadens were untroubled by that.
Gadens weren’t worried by transcripts.
Gadens tried to bluff past an affidavit from an independent pro bono barrister. Gadens claimed their bank could authorise them to ignore Conflict Rules. Gadens weren’t worried by rules that say a barrister cannot run a case he testified in as a witness.
Gadens ran roughshod over my understanding of the Over-Arching Obligations.
Gadens were untroubled by enquiries from “60 Minutes”, Fairfax and the ABC.
Gadens were untroubled by complaints at the Director of Public Prosecutions, Victoria Police and the Legal Services Board & Commission.
Gadens seemed to get away with things in Court that shocked me and dozens of friends and reporters.
Gadens beat me in every Court all the way to the High Court. They beat me in VCAT. They beat the purchaser’s Caveat with ease.
They beat another purchaser’s Caveat from a lender. Gadens were unbeatable.
Judges with shares in the banks failed to disclose their shareholdings and they refused to recuse themselves from cases. (Only one did, at VCAT). In one instance one Judge – Justice Osborn declared having close to a ¼ million dollars and refused to recuse himself.
The Legal Services Board and Commission let them off. The Board’s letter essentially states they can do nothing if Judges’ don’t do anything. Then I have judges stating that if it isn’t in the pleadings then they will ignore everything else.
Staff at the Legal Services Board & Commission were very upset.
I was told they could not take action because of their budget, but they are taking action in other cases the FBI and SEC has about them as I have been informed and therefore have money to save themselves.
After losing my cases over and over, LSBC Insiders whispered to go to VCAT, the FBI and the US SEC.
That was how deeply troubled the Legal Services Board and Commission people were.
Who would think to call the FBI!? I thought they were insane. I did anyway. I am registered with a group at the SEC and the SEC might pay a reward if the Banks are fined.
They spoke to other people about my case even though the LSBC is liable for damages if they blow the whistle or talk to the wrong people. (I estimate that I am entitled to over $3mill.).
Out of the blue, Gadens offered me the $1m hush up deal as outlined in Submission 2 to the Foreign Bribery Inquiry at Parliament.
I couldn’t believe it. Everything they said about the FBI must be true, I thought.
The offer looked illegal to me, and it’s illegality was the same type of illegality I was tipped off to expect.
Gadens also insisted that my purchasers from America must sign up to the Deed. Just as was expected!
Why would anyone know that Gadens would insist that the Americans sign a deed to things they weren’t involved in?
Here Gadens demanded the very things I was expecting they’d demand.
The hush deed was exactly as I was informed by people it would be like.
Gadens also refused to make changes that every lawyer and barrister told me to ask for.
Every lawyer that I spoke to from Queensland to Queen Street, said don’t touch it.
Luckily no one did because the FBI “came out of the bushes”.
The hush offer was unacceptable without making it open and honest and on the record, with the Bank’s full knowledge of Gaden’s conduct.
Regrettably, Gadens refused to make the changes and make it their own cash (rather than shareholders money). Suspiciously they turned down ideas that would not cost the bank a pretty penny.
Soon afterwards, Channel 7 News said a tip off last year caused audits and arrests of bank executives. (I think the tip off was from the LSBC whistleblowers to the SEC Witnesses).
The FBI wanted the Hush Deed. Inquiries were made by
- Auditors from Ace Foundation
- Auditors from Computer Science Corporation
- An MP about an accountant in Brighton,
- Bank Reform people in NSW
- 60 Minutes’ producer for the ANZ Story that was aired in August this year
- Fairfax and ABC
- The FBI “IC” Division.
- The SEC Office of the Director of Corporate Compliance
- The SEC’s Senior Counsel Mr McCreedy
- IBAC anti-corruption commission
- Victorian Ombudsman
- Parliamentarians who want the names of Legal Services Board officials
- about the American Express Case. They lost billions because of the Reserve Bank of Australia
The LSBC told me to go away despite damning evidence and despite the FBI arresting people. You would think the LSBC might see a few ethics issues if banks executives are arrested over the same Hush Deed they said was legal and ethical.
They might be liable to me and the bank shareholders for all I know too.
It all came true.
- The Hush Deed materialised out of thin air
- The Hush Deed was exactly as I was led to believe it would be.
- Gadens refused the changes
- Soon after the deed was refused, there was pay-back. We felt like we turned down an offer you can’t refuse
- There are Parliamentary Inquiries in the News every day. Submission #2 is at the top of the List.
- The Parliamentary Inquiry into Engineered Defaults started;
- American Express lost billions (and I look forward to sharing the Reward).
- The NAB Audit lady in New York, Alice Savenah, is looking at things.
- The ANZ was on 60 Minutes.
- You should read the Submissions at the Foreign Bribery Inquiry from Professors, the International Bar Association, the Attorney General + Federal Police, and many others. They want the same things.
- The FBI wanted the Hush Deed
- The SEC wanted information
- MPs called
- Bank Reform Now said MPs want the names of the LSBC officials exposed in Parliament
Every few months the FBI and SEC want something more.
I therefore object to the Legal Services Board & Commission (“LSBC”) using its powers to investigate its own role in the $1m Hush Deed.
They owe my family for breaching their privacy laws too. I have friends and colleagues calling me almost daily still troubled about their faith being destroyed after seeing what occurred to me and my family by Gadens, Financial Ombudsman, the judiciary, Gadens, NAB and the Legal Services Board & Commission.
If the Senate Inquiry or the Parliamentary Joint Committee want me to testify at their hearings, I will.
LETTER TO MR PAKULA
Dear Mr Pakula,
In regard to your email below, can you please provide us with an update. Furthermore, as you are aware the Courts have a division designated to handling such complaints against judges and judicial members, (please see here: https://www.countycourt.vic.gov.au/node/154), however to date no response has been made whatsoever from this division in regard to our complaint, hence why your involvement and intervention is understandably needed.
Scepticism has grown when we discover that this division is actually run potentially by the very same judicial members who may be involved in the complaint itself or obviously their colleagues, thus certainly and ironically lacks impartiality and fair-mindedness, and hence potentially why no response has been made to date.
Chief Justice Ms Warren has been clearly notified about this, and it is rather unacceptable for her to be ignoring it.
Please note, we have sent 3 emails following up on our complaint on - 14 April 2016, 4 May 2016 and 14 June 2016, and yet as mentioned not a single reply whatsoever has been made.
Essentially Mr Pakula we are seeking the following to occur, based upon the unsatisfactory handling of our matter –
1. A retrial (with a jury) on the basis that: a. judges who presided over our matter had substantial financial interests with the NAB (please see supporting transcripts attached) who ethically ought to have recused themselves, especially when a self-represented litigant is involved against a bank, and had actually protested about it. There are a very clear precedents for what ought to be done and seen to be done when judicial members have relationship or interests with a party in litigation, but regardless of such authorities and precedents, it is simply a matter of ethics and integrity, and it puts our judicial system into disrepute when such basic moral fundamentals are ignored or devalued. We really don’t need a precedent or an authority to tell us that judges who have a relationship to a party in litigation (especially a financial one) should not be sitting on those cases do we!?
For your interest we conducted our own public survey as well and the results are clear. Judges should have NO financial interests in our banks when residing over banking matters!
Please see survey results attached.
b. Pro Bono Barrister – Paul Hayes, that was assigned by the court under the VBPBS (Victorian Bar Pro Bono Scheme) at the last moment to address our matter, has confirmed categorically that the judges (J.Whelan & J.Santamaria) were WRONG! - in establishing that he had expressly abandoned the pinnacle ground to this case.
Please see attached their judgement, and Paul Hayes’s submissions proclaiming that the Judges were wrong!.
We simply want a fair hearing (i.e. with a jury, community members, not bank shareholding judicial members) to determine:
a. whether NAB breached the National Consumer Credit Protection Act. S83 and the ACL (as we still do not have a clear determination on this ground) and therefore our house returned…or rather now fair remuneration of our losses suffered.
This is a very relevant precedent that needs to be made in our era where debt and banking conduct is under intense examination, it is certainly of public importance as you can understand.
b. the consequences for NAB and their counsel - Mr Adam Segal, falsifying evidence & statements in trial in order to affect judgment in their favour. See attached trial transcript excerpt for your perusal. (i.e. NAB pronouncing that we did not pay them in order to save our house, as per their deed) when it was determined by the courts that we did in fact pay them, and therefore a clear undeniable perjurious offence.
You see Mr Pakula the controversy here is the bank itself pronounced in trial that their deed was available to us and therefore we merely just needed to pay them the sum of $299,000 to save our home by the 15 April 2013. We paid the NAB the sum of $299,000 on 20 March 2013 (Please see copy of bank cheque attached), almost a month earlier, which now the judiciary confirms. However the judiciary shockingly sidestepped around this and established that Mr Hayes (our pro bono barrister) for some bizarre reason expressly abandoned this critical ground, which proved without doubt that NAB did lie in court, and furthermore the deed was available as NAB themselves stated on 20 March 2013. And interestingly enough J.Whelan even pronounced at the commencement of the hearing that this whole case is all about whether the NAB deed was still available at 20 March 2013 because clearly we had paid them on that date.
Please see attached that transcript excerpt.
So what does the judiciary have to say for themselves when the bank itself proclaims in trial that their deed was available at 20 March 2013? We know they received payment on that date, so what it is going on here?
We are certain that if these 2 matters are put before community members (a jury) to make a decision, that a more factual and diligent one will be made in our favour as it rightfully should.
However quite simply the judiciary are stopping this from occurring.
Mr Pakula you can establish quite quickly and logically, that it is rather obvious that it would no doubt solidify that NAB and their counsel committed perjury in trial, by submitting that no payment was ever made, and the judiciary certainly can’t have a self - litigant being successful against a bank and their equally sized conglomerate law firm – Gadens for such a serious offence. It is certainly embarrassing, so instead we will establish that the ground was abandoned by the pro bono barrister!?
As it is right now we are left with judgments that express the following in regard to the 2 final core reaming matters -
1. NAB’s conduct in regard to their payout notice was unsatisfactory (negligent) in many ways, but they didn’t do it deliberately, thus not unconscionable.
[Mr.Cosgrave  VCC 48 – 7 February 2014 – Para. 70 & 71] [Mr.Whelan & Mr.Santamaria  VSCA 159 – 30 July 2015 – Para. 75 –77]
2. Paul Hayes abandoned the void & severable ground – which was to bring to light that NAB gave false evidence in trial, and most importantly had confirmed that their deed was available and therefore payment was made and ALL that was required from us to save our house. [Mr.Whelan & Mr.Santamaria  VSCA 159 – 30 July 2015 – Para. 7 & ]
So misapplication &/or avoidance & evasion in point (1) and complete abandonment in point (2) is what we have been provided from the judiciary to be considered a job well down in ensuring all elements and grounds were thorough litigated and determined. So Evasion & Abandonment is what the judiciary has produced for us?
The way this case and matter has been handled by the judiciary clearly has been inadequate and unacceptable, and we urge for your intervention Mr Pakula so these mishaps are appropriately rectified.
Please appreciate Mr Pakula that 9 pro bono barristers were drawn into this case, and as per the VBPBS rules they will only take on cases if there are overwhelming merits, clear and factual evidence and of some public relevance. Clearly these criteria were firmly ticked.
Unfortunately however a culmination of fiscal retainer constraints within the VBPBS, mixed in with the misconduct or misunderstandings or inappropriateness of the judiciary and/or case handling, we are left with losing our house, livelihoods and overall health and wellbeing.
Justice should not be a cunning game played amongst legal practitioners, or overly rigid and tightly constraint protocol which prevents the truth from prevailing, nor should it be only proffered to the wealthy…
but it seems to be the situation that is bouncing around our courtrooms.
Clearly what we have been left with is not justice, in anyone’s view, and we ask that you please use your position to ethically and morally address this matter with Chief Justice Ms Warren &/or the appropriate Senators or authorities in order to have this rectified.
It does not take too much effort or resource to establish that there has been some serious judicial mishaps in this matter when all the evidence and issue are associated totally to in-court conduct. That of itself ought to certainly raise serious concern, that our grievance is not about just being unhappy about decisions by our judiciary, but rather the conduct, avoidance and evasion of matters that almost strategically barricaded the truth from succeeding relating to in-court conduct, and it is only reasonable to have it rectified. We can assure Mr Pakula that if a jury made a determination on the above remaining grounds, as opposed to misapplication and abandonment, we would be satisfied with that whatever that decision is.
And that is what this complaint is about - The in-court conduct that buried/sidestepped the truth and prevented honest justice from occurring.
Mr Pakula this isn’t just about our case, but what it represents systemically and communally and we urge for your immediate attention.
Please let us know if you need further clarification on anything outlined.
LETTER FROM MR PAKULA
Sent: Tuesday, 14 June 2016 1:06 PM
To: Elliot Sgargetta
Subject: Re: Complaint - The Judiciary gave NAB our house based on perjury and false abandonment.
I write to acknowledge receipt of your email to the Attorney-General, the Hon Martin Pakula MP. Your correspondence is currently being considered.
Office of the Hon Martin Pakula MP Attorney-General and Minister for Racing
121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
PH: 03 8684 1111
BACKGROUND ON ELLIOT SGARGETTA'S STORY
Bank Reform Now Submission to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services re: The Impairment of Customer Loans. Bank Reform Now Submission to Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services re: The Impairment of Customer Loans. Submission 116