A Fijian resort will change hands after an Australian salesman found guilty of swindling customers of $AUD190million was forced to hand over his interests in the property.
Bounty Resort which lies between Nadi and the popular Treasure Island, was sold to Matthew Lloyd McPhee for an undisclosed sum in 2017. But it is now part of the $AUD24.5million in cash and assets McPhee must hand over to a Florida court after he sold the dream of financial security to vulnerable aged pensioners and war veterans through social media and live events.
The US consumer protection agency the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alleged that McPhee’s My Online Business Education(MOBE) scam swindled several US citizens of $USD84,000 each after charging an initial $USD49 entry fee before badgering them into spending tens of thousands of dollars to continue through the 21 steps.
MOBE promised a money-back guarantee to teach participants how to make millions of dollars from their own internet marketing business. The court hear that customers would watch videos of McPhee describing his humble country beginnings, earning a pittance selling kangaroo furs by the side of the road, promising that through him they could learn to be rich.
Bounty Island is part of the Mamanuca Group and was described by real estate agents in 2016 as “a small budget resort … however the development opportunities the island presents are where the true value lies’’.
The island has six bure (cottages) each sleeping two adults, with ensuite bathroom; 12 air conditioned beachfront bures, sleeping two adults and two children using bunk bed, with ensuite bathroom; five air conditioned Deluxe beachfront bures, sleeping two adults and two children using bunk bed, with ensuite bathroom. It also has dormitory accommodation for 76 people.
*Additional information sourced from The Daily Mail