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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    Yep 'user pays' that's a good new discussion - I have started it off here.


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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Default Terry Serepisos accused of bouncing cheques

    Terry Serepisos accused of bouncing cheques

    Two businessmen have accused Terry Serepisos, the troubled Wellington tycoon who dishes out business advice on TVNZ's The Apprentice, of bouncing cheques.

    Consultant Philip Yong and construction company owner Maurice Clark said Mr Serepisos sent them cheques his bankers refused to honour.

    Mr Clark said he had to go to court to get Mr Serepisos to pay him a $90,000 building bill. "I'll tell you his style," Mr Clark said.

    "He says he will pay you and he doesn't. Then he sends you a cheque and it's not signed. Then he sends a signed cheque and it's backdated to Christmas Day.

    "When you present the cheque to the bank, when it opens, it bounces. There were two cheques like that, one for $63,000 and the other around $7000."

    But Mr Serepisos the star of The Apprentice television show that mimics Donald Trump said no cheques had bounced. He had "stopped" a cheque because there was a dispute with McKee-Fehl Constructors over air-conditioning work at his Petone IBM building.

    When the dispute was resolved, McKee-Fehl received all their money, Mr Serepisos said.

    On Saturday, The Dominion Post revealed Mr Serepisos has about $2 million outstanding in rates and ground rents he owes Wellington City Council.

    Mr Serepisos refused to discuss his rates bills, saying they were "confidential between myself and the council".

    He blamed his problems on the global recession and said other people owe him millions.

    The investigation also revealed he owes money to subcontractors for work on his Tory St hotel and apartments including plumbing, joinery, window glazing and pool construction. Mr Serepisos said the bills were all disputed and he intends countersuing.

    But two of the contractors said Mr Serepisos had never disputed the bills he just had not paid them.

    Building consultant Philip Yong, who worked on the Tory St complex, said Mr Serepisos owes him $60,000 and sent him a cheque that bounced.

    Mr Clark said he thought it was "reprehensible" that Mr Serepisos was the boss of The Apprentice and was filmed giving advice to young businessmen and women.

    He was a "shocking role model" to be fronting the show.

    TVNZ said it did due diligence on Mr Serepisos' businesses before the show in which contestants vie to become his "apprentice" on a salary package worth $200,000 began screening.

    Mr Serepisos said he knew that going on the show would result in people taking pot shots at him.

    Last month, McKee-Fehl obtained a Wellington District Court charging order to get $90,321 from Mr Serepisos' company Century City Ventures for work it did on his IBM building in Petone.
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    The order was registered against the title on the property owned by Century City Ventures.

    Mr Serepisos said the money had now been paid and he expected the order to be removed from the building's title.

    Mr Clark said he had "not yet got around" to lifting the order.

    Mr Yong, a director of engineering consultancy Clendon Burns and Park, said the money was for work on Mr Serepisos' IBM building in Petone more than a year ago.

    The bill is not contested by Mr Serepisos. "I owe them $60,000, there is no denying I owe them $60,000. That is correct," he said.

    But he said he did not know anything about a bounced cheque as he had other people handling his everyday accounts.

    He described Mr Yong as a friend and said they had a longstanding working relationship.

    Mr Yong said Mr Serepisos "promised and promised" to pay and a cheque finally arrived last year. "[But] when I put the cheque in the bank it bounced back."

    When he saw Mr Serepisos on TVNZ's The Apprentice he thought: "This is too much for people to stomach."

    As for Mr Serepisos' statements that he was a victim of "tall poppy" syndrome, Mr Yong said: "I don't have problems with tall poppies. I have problems with people who don't pay [their bills]."

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009


    The issue here is a simple one; use direct debits instead of cheques, then you can't accidently forget to sign the cheque or accidently forget to send it for several months.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    Cheques shouldn't exist now - they are used to slow the payment process...everything Terry is alleged to have done I've experienced first hand with cheque payment. Cheques can also be reversed up to 6 months after presentation and the $$ deposited in your account. Auto payment can only be reversed up to 3 days later so best to not accept cheques.....for large ticket items or wait 6 months before spending the dosh.


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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    buffet says

    it's only when the tide goes out

    that you get to see who was swimming naked

    always a bit of a surprise though to see the self styled swimming coaches letting it all hang out..
    have you defeated them?
    your demons

  6. #16


    Terry might be a great guy and down to earth. But you won't have the same sentiment if you or your business is owed with lots of money by him. People who don't pay their dues are as bad as crooks with all due respect to Terry. You don't get rich at other people's expense. Sorry, Terry, you are fired!!!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2006


    There is an excellent article in the current North and South regarding the rise and fall of Hanover Finance. Of relevance to this thread are the actions of Mark Hotchin who made his original nestegg through property development.

    His strategy was to pay those who couldn't be ignored - principally the banks. Contractors, subbies etc.....well they were another matter. Non-payment or short-payment was the game and he was very successful at that.

    Serepisos is cut from the same cloth. I saw him on the Apprentice and frankly he seemed far too pleased with himself and not particularly interesting. We now know he doesn't pay his bills which for me is a fatal character flaw.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    North Shore City


    I have to agree with you Winston, but something doesn't add up. Under the construction gaurantees act you have 12 days to dispute a payment certificate, and if you don't then you have no legal defence, any court action will result in judgement for the plaintiff, as I suspect, happened when Mr Clark got his money, in the end. How can you get bouncing chqs, payment by the 20th, but 12 days to dispute. Something just doesn't add up, Serepisos should be pushed, if he looses the football club, I'm sure someone will buy a top performing club, because they are performing fantastically, why wouldn't you invest for the long term in the Phoenix, thanks for the great club up for grabs Mr Serepisos. Oh, and wheres our money, plenty of people contribute to the Windy City's economy, they don't get deals done for supporting their clubs on Saturdays, why should he???

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Torbay, Auckland


    Quote Originally Posted by Orkibi View Post
    He looks like a great guy, down to earth.
    I think he is obviously loosing the plot.

    Who in their right mind would fire that young blonde

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    an amount so small he probably just forgot about it

    Serepisos owed $116,000 in Hutt rates

    Terry Serepisos amassed a $116,000 rates bill with Hutt City Council – the highest unpaid figure on the council's books.

    The Dominion Post revealed on Saturday that The Apprentice star owes Wellington City Council about $2 million in unpaid rates.

    It is understood Mr Serepisos and his business interests owed the Hutt council $116,000 at the end of February.

    Information obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act shows the council was owed a total of nearly $1.2 million in overdue business rates. It is understood Mr Serepisos' outstanding amount was the highest.


    will be interesting to see if all publicity is good publicity for him

    in 10 years time will people say?

    "i know that guy he's famous"

    "sorry terry, before i can give the keys back for your bently you'll have to pay in cash, and no, a check with cash written on it will not do, as apparently you may find a fingerprint on the windscreen, cancel the check and invite me to go to arbitration..."

    i don't have a problem with tall poppies

    but i do have a problem with conspicuous consumers who can't pay for their bills
    have you defeated them?
    your demons


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