NT Election Candidate Banned From Selling In First Nations Communities

An independent candidate for the seat of Nhulunbuy in this weekend’s Northern Territory election has recently been banned by the Federal Court from selling products and services to Aboriginal communities after a complaint of misleading deceptive conduct by Australia’s consumer watchdog, a NIRS investigation has revealed.

Have a listen to this fast talking salesman
(National Indigenous Radio)

Jackson Anni, the director of electronics reseller FDRA Pty Ltd, appeared before the court on allegations that the company had engaged in unconscionable conduct when establishing over 600 agreements throughout Indigenous communities.

The ACCC agreed to discontinue its action against Mr Anni, after he agreed to the conditions placed on him, which included ceasing the sale of products and services within Indigenous communities, and at the Royal Darwin Hospital, where he allegedly targeted patients.

Mr Anni says the electors of the seat of Nhulunbuy should be allowed to decide his political fate.

ACCC pursues company over sales of electronic tablets in Indigenous communities

 
ABC News 25 Feb 2016

A man accused of misrepresenting electronic tablets as iPads to customers in Indigenous communities is the subject of legal action by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC).

The ACCC has alleged Jackson Anni's company, The Foundation for the Digitisation of Rural Australia [FDRA], targeted vulnerable people at the Royal Darwin Hospital and in remote Indigenous communities.

It alleged Mr Anni and his company had engaged in "unconscionable conduct, false or misleading conduct, and breaches of the unsolicited consumer agreement provisions of the Australian Consumer Law in the supply of electronic tablet devices".

The ACCC claimed FDRA representatives made "false and misleading representations" that the tablets being supplied were iPads.

Mr Anni and sales representatives acting on behalf of FDRA are alleged by the ACCC to have entered into at least 600 agreements with Indigenous consumers in remote Indigenous communities, as well at the Royal Darwin Hospital and associated hostels.

The ACCC claim the remote Indigenous Northern Territory communities included Lajamanu, Kalkarindji, Yarralin, Ngukurr, Jilkmingan, Barunga, Minyerri, Elcho Island, Tiwi Islands, Beswick, Mataranka and Maningrida.

The ACCC is seeking pecuniary penalties, consumer redress orders, an order banning Mr Anni from managing a corporation declarations, injunctions and costs.

Mr Anni is also known as Temitope Ayodele Anifowose, the ACCC said.

In the Darwin Federal Court today, Mr Anni said he intended to represent himself and his company against the allegations.

The case was adjourned until April. (see ACCC finding on below next report)

Jackson Anni to continue visiting Royal Darwin Hospital despite trespass order

 
Craig Dunlop NT News 22 February 2016

A man who has been banned from Royal Darwin Hospital for allegedly ripping off hundreds of vulnerable patients has told the NT News he is still visiting the hospital every day to "do business".

Jackson Anni, who is being pursued through the courts by the consumer watchdog, said the trespass order against him was not valid, and that he would be visiting the hospital "today, tomorrow and every day after that".

He denies allegations made by the Competition and Consumer Commission, and says he is "a legitimate businessman".

Mr Anni will face the Federal Court on Thursday accused of selling cheap electronic tablets to vulnerable customers, claiming they were iPads.

He allegedly generated $300,000 in sales, both in remote communities and at Royal Darwin Hospital, where staff have referred to him as "a scourge" and "a pest".

"I'm going to go there today again, I have a lot of clients to see there," Mr Anni said. "If you have a customer who wants to buy your product ... and they happen to be in hospital, you'd go there too, wouldn't you?"

One company director and Elcho Island elder Jeffrey Malawa called on Mr Anni to wind up the company.

"I haven't had any business meetings with him since I signed that document," he said.

"I want him to stop what he's doing right now, it's hurting our people.

"When I signed that document, I thought it would be a good thing for people. I feel betrayed by Jackson. I want to apologise to my people for what the company has done."

Mr Anni was first banned from RDH mid last year when general manager Louise Oriti issued him with a trespass order.

Mr Anni has challenged the order in the Supreme Court, where he argued that the hospital was a public place where he was free to do business – a claim challenged by Department of Health lawyers.

Mr Anni said he understood the trespass order had been overturned "in a settlement", but Ms Oriti said the order against Mr Anni was still in place, and he would be breaching it if he tried to enter the hospital without going through the security team.

"In light of this latest information, Ms Oriti said she would direct security to increase their level of vigilance in relation to Mr Anni," a Department of Health spokesman said. "RDH management (will) also speak with police about the matter, should there be evidence of a breach of the trespass order."

Jackson Anni and FDRA sales agents not to enter Indigenous communities to sell goods or services

 
6 May 2016

FDRA Pty Ltd (FDRA) (formerly known as Angel Digital) and its director Mr Jackson Anni have given undertakings to the Federal Court not to enter any Indigenous community in Australia or the Royal Darwin Hospital and its associated hostels to sell any goods or services for a period of 5 years, following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In December 2015, the ACCC brought proceedings in the Federal Court alleging that Mr Anni and FDRA engaged in unconscionable conduct, misleading and deceptive conduct and contraventions of the unsolicited selling provisions of the Australian Consumer Law in the sale of electronic tablets and related extras in Indigenous communities and at the Royal Darwin Hospital and its associated hostels.

"Indigenous consumer protection is an enduring priority for the ACCC and we took this action to protect the rights of Indigenous consumers under that Australian Consumer Law," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

"The undertakings to the Federal Court provide a high level of protection to Indigenous consumers going forward and serve as a warning to other traders that they must comply with the Australian Consumer Law wherever they are trading, including Indigenous communities."

"We encourage Indigenous consumers to contact the ACCC or the police if they are concerned about the conduct of traders operating in their communities," Mr Sims said.

In its proceedings, the ACCC had alleged that from September 2014, Mr Anni and sales representatives acting on behalf of FDRA entered into at least 600 agreements with Indigenous consumers in remote Indigenous communities, as well at the Royal Darwin Hospital and its associated hostels.

It was alleged that the FDRA representatives did not comply with requirements for unsolicited consumer agreements and made false and misleading representations that the tablets being supplied were iPads, that they contained thousands of games, and that consumers were required to pay an additional fee for a warranty.

The ACCC also alleged that FDRA had engaged in unconscionable conduct in circumstances where some consumers had a poor understanding of English and of commercial transactions and where the business used false or misleading representations and failed to comply with the unsolicited consumer agreements provisions.

The undertakings, which were made to the Federal Court and are enforceable, also require Mr Anni and FDRA to:

cease accepting payments and automatic deductions in relation to goods or services supplied within 7 days of executing the undertaking
only sell electronic tablets to any Australian consumer that first approach them, provide a 10 day cooling off period (including not taking payment or supplying goods)
have written agreements with all the goods or services it sells to every consumer, irrespective of whether they are unsolicited consumer agreements and,
provide $20,000 for consumer redress, to be distributed by the ACCC.
The undertakings have been given without admissions. On the basis of these undertakings the ACCC agreed to discontinue its proceedings against FDRA and Mr Anni.

ACCC Indigenous infoline: 1300 303 143.

Background
ACCC takes action against FDRA for alleged consumer law breaches in Aboriginal communities.

Earlier this year, the ACCC together with Queensland Office of Fair Trading and the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network unveiled roadside signage designed to minimise consumer harm from unlawful door-to-door trade in the far north Queensland Indigenous community of Wujal Wujal. Its aim was to remind door-to-door traders they have legal obligations to consumers and can't approach houses displaying do-not-knock notices. It is also hoped that the signage helps to empower community residents to understand and assert their rights under the Australian Consumer Law.

Wujal Wujal community puts door-to-door traders on notice.