• Report: #258331
Complaint Review:

Discovery Beach Australia - Discovery Beach International

  • Submitted: Mon, July 02, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, January 05, 2013

  • Reported By:Leatherhead Other
Discovery Beach Australia - Discovery Beach International
PO Box 720, Banora Point, NSW 2486 Banora Point, Australia Australia

Discovery Beach Australia - Discovery Beach International Scam, Advance Fee Fraud Banora Point NSW

*General Comment: where are they now?

*Consumer Comment: Back from mauritius

*Consumer Comment: The truth comes out at last

*UPDATE Employee: Total Rubbish - Slander and Defamation are serious crimes

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Discovery Beach Australia, Musotopia and Rock Star Lottery - The real story

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Discovery Beach Australia or Discovery Beach International (they have a few names ...) are an 'investment' company that guarantee funding for small business. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!

We were looking to start up a new business and placed our details on a couple of reputable 'matchmaking' sites to find an investor. We were contacted by Discovery Beach in the UK and were offered the 'opportunity' to go through their software processing package to see if we were investment ready and if we had a business idea that they might be interested in investing in. This software cost us 400 and everything SEEMED okay so far. Then they contacted us after we sent through our completed programme and told us that they would be DELIGHTED to invest in our new business.

They strung us along for a few days with promises of all the great things they would do, and then they submitted a proposal for us to work with them on this new venture. Only it would cost 17,500 for us to enter into this agreement with them as, so they said, it would cost 30,000 to get us to an 'investment ready' level before they could invest. Great warning bells rang, but their Chairman (a Barrister in the NSW Supreme Court), is a fantastic salesman and he addressed all our concerns with the practised ease of an experienced salesman.

After deciding that we weren't going to go this route (after all, isn't funding supposed to be about getting cash INTO the business as opposed to OUT OF?) we sent them an email thanking them for their trouble and explaining that we could not afford the commitment they wanted.

The chairman then contacted us and explained - and oddly enough it all seemed very reasonable at the time - that it wasn't about the money, but about showing 'commitment' to the project. He explained it in a way that only a salesman can, and even kindly reduced the 'initial fee' to 3500 after we steadfastly said we weren't putting up 17500.

Even so, we said we couldn't afford it, but he found a way to convince us to borrow money on the basis of our business being a 'world leader' and with 'global potential'. We just couldn't let an opportunity like this slide. Then, when the chairman promised his 'personal guarantee' (he is, after all, a Barrister in the Supreme Court of New South Wales) of a triple return by December, we went ahead and scraped and borrowed money to make it work.

OF course, as with anything, as soon as the money is paid, the obligation is complete.

We were promised, in writing, that the business report would be ready within 3-5 weeks. 4 months later, after repeated questions, emails, phone calls explaining how late this was, we got a hastily-cobbled-together small 'report' that contained nothing that was advertised. Until we threatened legal action, all our emails and phone calls went ignored.

During the time we waited for this report, we were obliged to follow their recommendations (one of their requirements for 'guaranteed funding' is that you follow every recommendation to the letter) - regardless of how odd they seemed at the time. When cash started to get strapped, we were promised that the funding was 'imminent' and that we should stall our creditors and suppliers until this happens. The Barrister chairman even offered to contact these people on our behalf (saying that creditors are more likely to take an 'investment banker' seriously - I wonder when he went from Barrister to Investment Banker, but I digress) and talk to them and stall them for us.

4 months into the process, 3 months AFTER their agreed deadline, and with no contact whatsoever from the 'chairman barrister' except to smooth us over when we told them we were looking at legal action, we followed all their 'recommendations' and ended up almost ruined.

By December, this man refused to pay his 'personal guarantee' of the initial fee tripled and suddenly changed all the goalposts AGAIN, saying that he wouldnt invest in the business until we had a technical partner in place, even though all the contracts and agreements so far clearly said that HE would bring in the partners. He introduced us to the CEO of a company in Australia, and we were told that this man was going to invest in our business as well. But on further discussions with this gent we discovered that he merely knew Mr Barrister through occasional social events, had been asked to talk to us about our requirements as a potential CUSTOMER, and that he was not looking to invest in anything at this stage. So DBA and Mr O'Brien had lied to us again.

Eventually we had had enough and we laid charges against him and the company with the UK and Australian police. We submitted formal complaints to the NSW Law Association, as they had told us he was NOT a barrister, and to the Australian Attorney Generals office, on the advice of the Bar Association and the Law Society. We told Mr O'Brien that we would be contacting everyone connected with his business if he continued to ignore us, which he did, and so we set about making contact with his associates.

We found out that the esteemed and well respected and experienced businessman, Mr Ali Pourtaheri, was the new CEO of Discovery Beach International, so we contacted him. He stepped in and seemed pretty honourable at the time. He arranged for DBA to refund our initial 3500, and being pretty desperate at the time we reluctantly agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement in return for the refund. By this stage, we had lost everything and probably would have agreed to anything just to end this whole sordid matter. Only Mr Pourtaheri said that we had to agree to sign this agreement before we saw it. Again, the desperation meant that we agreed. We verbally agreed the terms, and then afterwards received this agreement, which stated that we would not talk to the media or anyone outside of our two companies about this matter, and also that Discovery Beach would take a 'fresh look' at our business with a view to restoring the relationship and funding plans.

We signed it and they sent the refund (only, we discovered afterwards that it was illegal as refunds are a statutory right and should be given where service or goods have failed, WITHOUT CONDITIONS). Within two days, Mr O'Brien told us via a text message that our relationship was over and he would have nothing further to do with us. No 'fresh look', no 'moving forward', nothing. So he got us to sign an agrement that he had no intention of adhering to. This man is a lying snake of a con artist.

Luckily for us, the agreement was drawn up in the UK and contained the statutory '7 day cooling off' clause, which enabled us to revoke the agreement in its entirety and proceed with our talks with the police and trading standards office. O'Brien was incensed that we had managed to do this, even though HE breached the agreement, and the threats started.

One of their advisors, a Mr Mike Turner, is the President of the Defence Trade unit in Australia, and before long Mr O'Brien contacted us to say that Mike Turners contacts could have us 'taken out', starting with our children, if we didnt 'shut up'. Nice people, these ...

To date, Discovery Beach Australia have lied to us, stolen from us, threatened us and ruined everything we have worked so hard for. Yes, we made the mistake of believing the lies and falling for the scam, but d**n, these guys are good!

We are still working with the police and will soon be launching a civil claim against Discovery Beach for damages. The NSW Bar Association have referred O'Brien's conduct to the NSW Supreme Court for assessment and the Law Society will be taking their own action against him. HOWEVER, they are still contacting small business owners around the world and selling their little 'advance fee scam' operations, and they will continue to be successful in conning others if they are not stopped. Therefore, we will NOT be letting up and will continue to work with all agencies and authorities to make sure they cannot do this to anyone else.

BE WARNED! Discovery Beach Australia, their 'Chairman', CEO and all their agents, do NOT care about breaking promises, lying and destroying others, all for the sake of a few measly bucks. Avoid these people at all costs.

United Kingdom

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/02/2007 07:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/discovery-beach-australia-discovery-beach-international/banora-point-australia/discovery-beach-australia-discovery-beach-international-scam-advance-fee-fraud-banora-p-258331. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

where are they now?

AUTHOR: i am onto you - (United States of America)

(((link redacted)))

Steven pitcher / Ben linus (39 years old) has left his wife and is now living in margate, south africa with the 16 year old lodger that he has brainwashed and made her to reject her entire family, he runs things like a cult leader, hence why he changed his name to ben linus, after the cult leader from the programme "lost", she is 18 now so of course he has set up another company in south africa now but all in the name of the poor sap he is abusing and has been since she was 16 years old, his wife the despicable shelly pitcher / starling linus now, is in oxford still with her 6 children all from different fathers running a website giving "help and guidance" for how to have the perfect relationship, well if that is your husband running off with the teenage lodger she has been extremely successfull

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Back from mauritius

AUTHOR: Balthazar - (United Kingdom)

Well, Steven pitcher is back in the uk. Changed his name to Benjamin Linus. Lives in Oxford. Has a band called hashtag Alice. His twitter name is bad_gateway. Get your money back if you can. Balthazar
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#3 Consumer Comment

The truth comes out at last

AUTHOR: SP - (United Kingdom)

For the naysayers, and the last poster who proclaimed the godliness of Bernard O'Brien, and the awesomeness of Discovery Beach Australia ...


'Steven Pilchard' was the first to go public with how this company operates, even when nobody believed him. He opened the floodgates for many others to come forward.



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#4 UPDATE Employee

Total Rubbish - Slander and Defamation are serious crimes

AUTHOR: Ken - (United Kingdom)

I have watched these websites pop up now for a while and feel compelled to write something because it is nothing short of sabotage and bitterness. Copies of the same information each time by people with made up names - how childish!

I know Bernard personally having worked with him for over 2 years and invested in 2 projects with him. As an investor, I would no longer consider any start up project before it had been through the Discovery Beach process because there are nearly always surprises and Discovery Beach deals with them before I waste any of my time..... The 2 projects I've invested in were incredibly well structured and progressing very well as a result.

The work that Bernard and his team do is quite fantastic because saves people like me from the likes of immature people who post this kind of s**t. If you want an example of someone not to invest in, then I think this website says it all... Totally unprofessional and un-investable on every account.

I was fully briefed on the Musotopia project and it looks like Discovery Beach did the right thing judging on the fall out.... I am glad I was never introduced to this individual!

Whomever has posted this deserves what ever is coming to them. Slander, corporate sabotage and defamation are very serious crimes - you might get away with it in a playground, but it is really not the sort of behaviour you'd expect from professional people.

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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Discovery Beach Australia, Musotopia and Rock Star Lottery - The real story

AUTHOR: Steven - (Mauritius)

Hi, my name is Steven Pilchard

I go under a few names:
Joe Blakes - Nobody gets that one (tee hee)
imboardofyou - getting confident now
Stuart from Leatherhead - AKA Joe Blakes

Unfortunately I got court running the con of the century when I set up 'The Rock Star Lottery' (www.rockstarlottery.com) and 'Musotopia' (www.musotopia.com) before fleeing to Mauritius. But, not before I'd done a whole lot of damage to lots of companies in the UK and managed to extract loads of money from musicians and fellow music lovers. My last concept was Revolution96 where I managed to get lots of people to pay 1000 each!!!!! But I'm now safe in Mauritius as it's a tax free haven (I think).

Anyway, lets start from the begining. The story is pretty easy to follow because their are at least 3 fan sites that have been set up that have tracked me all the way from the start. Recently the sites have been saying how much they all love me and that they will be sending the police around to pick me up so we can all get together for a big reunion:

I came up with the idea to run a lottery for musicians all on my own - The Rock Start Lottery (RSL). The winner would get a pot of cash (thats me!) and 1 of the voters would be randomly selected (thats me again) to share the success of the band (or something like that).... so the whole thing was a bit of a fix really, but I did manage to get people to pay loads of money for votes which I told everyone I was putting into a Trust account.... that was the clever bit to get people to trust me hahahahahahahahahaha.

I just made the whole thing up as I went along which is how I thought people ran businesses. I registered the company under a false address in the UK (you see my intentions were honest from the start!!) and got LOADS of musicians and their fans onboard. I also claimed that the lottery fund was around 1.1 million around Christmas to get people to spend more on votes so I could fly me and my family to Mauritius.... but I digress and have got ahead of myself a bit here.

QUOTE FROM FAN SITE " I'm not defending RSL at all, couldn't give a stuff actually, but in the interest of fairness it's worth pointing out that his company is registered with Companies House
Name & Registered Office:
Company No. 05805448

The unregistered "Private Charity For Musicians" (The International Musician's Trust) worries me more.
Quoting the website "It's not a registered charity, as we refuse to follow restrictive 'guidelines' on spending and distribution of cash. We do not need to justify our spending to any uninvolved and faceless giant/government."

The Charities Commission is pretty hot on regulating charities precisely to put the public's mind at rest that no-one is being fleeced.

Why refer to it as a Charity and then refuse to register it as such? Gives of the wrong signals, surely? " END.......... it gets better, read on!!!!

After getting a couple of PR agencies involved around June July, we ran a gig at the Cavern Club flying bands in from all round the world. Especially South Africa as a load of my buddies live over there. Unfortunately I probably forgot to pay the PR agencies or other people involved in the gig because I was sued a number of times around November, but I can't remember. Hahahahahahahaha, business is sooo much fun fun fun

QUOTE James Regan "Yes Folks in November 2006 they were taken to court for 7,000 this has not been paid. In I think it was January they were taken to another court for another 6,000 and finally in the last week of April 07 they were taken to court for another 7,000. That's 20k so god knows how many other companies they ripped off".... thanks for that James - looks like i'm going to be laying low for a long time

The Cavern club was a great success because I got to mingle with loads of cool people and it really boosted my ego - unfortunately none of the bands felt the same way and you can read their versions on the website...

It really started to go wrong from here as the pressure mounted and people actually started to question my intentions. Well, I soon put a stop to that and started hurling abuse at people in the forums and banning them if they dared to even cross me. I even took this as far as to send vulgar and abusive e-mails to their personal e-mail addresses to scare them into not posting the truth on the internet..... and I certainly did that to a great number of people. You can read about my customer care policy on the various blog sites mentioned before, especially the drowned in sound site.... lots of happy customers and the regular use of the words f**k and c**t.... very professional i think you'll agree.............

FROM Rock Start Lottery BLOG: "SO we're going to remove anything negative from the forums. It's NOT a 'free speech' forum, and when it was regularly policed way back in the beginning, when I was getting rid of anything that may stir-the-pot, we had an air of excitement and positively.
Getting rid of the negatives seems like a censorship option and - well, it actually is - but it worked before, and eventually the negatives won't bother to post if they know it's getting removed within seconds.
Also, this course of action helps to attract others who LIKE a positive outlook.
SO mods - please would you help in cleaning house. I'm going to give you banning and user-removal powers shortly. I trust your judgement." END - That was my idea to clense the website

The problem now is, I have so many fans out there, that they keep tracking me down! After all, running an illegal lottery; telling clients that the fund is 1.1M; not filing accounts; telling people money is in trust; not paying suppliers; etc. etc. ..it IS ok isn't it?

Anyway, I don't have time to write much more. I have another plan to cultivate

If anyone wants to come and visit me in my lovely new home in Mauritius, I am in the band:
http://www.myspace.com/feedbackzeband we play regularly, so I'm not hard to find!... your welcome to come and stay

I'll also leave you with a few gems that I've written and that my fans have written about me.... thanks for reading

Mr. P

1) "Well, to be honest I've never believed there to be any voters on the site. My band bought 5 of votes to get the ball rolling back in May and then managed to gather 6000 votes over the next 2 months. No contact was ever received from ANY voter - although we of course asked, offered prizes, gifts etc .... In the end we gave away all our votes before the end of stage 1.
The sad fact is that IF you believe there to be voters on the site - a huge audience listening to your music and rewarding you with votes - then you will find it difficult to consider the alternative. "

2) "The fact is that I offered to apologise for my comments and withdraw legal action if he could prove to me and ALL the RSL that the prize fund existed, and there were in fact voters. He claimed that he would produce an audit but this would take time. And I said fine, do that and I will even donate 100 pounds to the fund... then... he said, "No I not going to produce anything... I don't see why I should and that all the people asking questions were negative f**ks" Now, he has resurrected the whole con and bands are STILL going for it."

3) "Quotes from his forum to someone asking about refunds
I was going to remove this, but I just wanted to take 2 minutes to tell you to go f**k yourself.
When your refund comes from aaaaalll the votes you bought for ol' Boyzone, you be sure to come along and kiss my a*s, ok? Big and smoochy like, and hold the tongue
I feel sorry for their customers"

4) "Not a chance... now he is talking about regurgitating the whole d**n con with another launch on March 1st.. AND STILL NOBODY IS ASKING HIM WHERE ALL THE MONEY IS....1.1 MILLION. I have notified the fraud squad, I have notified companies house, I have notified the Mauritius board of trade, I will continue to try to get my money back but I am not holding my breath."
"When when when when when when when will he finally admit what many of us knew last summer ....... there aint NO-ONE on the site and there never has been in any great numbers ......
Is it also possible that one could theoretically claim ANY amount of money off the man - it would be down to him to prove you HADN'T spent it - which will be difficult for him as I feel that all his records will be mysteriously 'lost' somewhere to protect the fact that there was no money ....... If there are both records and money ... fine -> give it all back. If not ... surely he's open to unlimited claims from anyone to which he must reply ......
Is Birmingham near Mauritious?"

5) "from his last rant "..... This is not to say it's anyone's fault or that there is anyone to blame, because there isn't anyone to blame except myself.."
cue a rant blaming others:
If you're one of the C***S (Yes, I said c***, and I probably referred to you if you took offence) that so enjoyed driving the RSL to this point, well - I actually don't have anything to say to you. And - here's the bigger newsflash - I don't care what you think. I don't give a rats a*s whether you want to think I'm a scam artist, or that I'm just a 'loser' or a 't**t trying to do something and getting it wrong'. I just don't give a flying f***! I've been through enough in the last year - I just don't care anymore..."
so well argued, the debating skills of Cicero there!

"...The RSL is dead! It will live only in the memories of those of us upon whom it's had an impact. That's the nature of these things.
But was it a failure? Nah, I don't see it as a failure at all....F*** you if you think it's a failure. THe RSL was a great success - it was only a failure to the greedy bastards, but then - they were in it for the wrong reasons to begin with.

I'm sure it's not just the artists who have been scammed are there any technology/pr/marketing partners he refused to pay too?"
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