DOORS CLOSED

Narrogin Observer - - Front Page - John Dob­son

A mas­sage par­lour op­er­ated by con­victed fraud­ster Bon Levi has closed its doors in­def­i­nitely as au­thor­i­ties con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate whether the no­to­ri­ous con­man has breached court or­ders.

A Nar­ro­gin mas­sage par­lour op­er­ated by con­victed fraud­ster Bon Levi has closed its doors as au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate the busi­ness. As re­vealed in last week’s Narro

gin Ob­server, au­thor­i­ties were in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Levi was break­ing any laws at a new mas­sage busi­ness on Eger­ton Street.

Con­tro­ver­sial sig­nage on the busi­ness drew the ire of many res­i­dents who took to so­cial me­dia to vent their con­cern.

A post by the Ob­server last week drew more than 100 com­ments on the mat­ter.

This news­pa­per un­der­stands Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Levi has breached a 2011 Supreme Court or­der.

In 2011, the Supreme Court of WA or­dered Levi and as­so­ciate Colin Bur­ton to be per­ma­nently re­strained from car­ry­ing on any un­reg­is­tered busi­ness in WA and plac­ing mis­lead­ing re­cruit­ment ad­ver­tise­ments.

Levi was fined more than $12,000 in the same year for mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments of mas­sage par­lours.

Levi, who has faced prison time and was la­belled one of Aus­tralia’s most “no­to­ri­ous con­men” by the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion, started ad­ver­tis­ing for a busi­ness part­ner and masseuses at the Eger­ton Street premise two weeks ago.

An ad posted in the Eger­ton Street shop win­dow makes of­fers to in­vestors and “girls” to work in the par­lour.

“Open­ing 15 shops in WA rapidly, you can be a part­ner in each,” the sign said.

“I will train you to be a win­ner and you may ex­pects (sic) up to $7500 a week paid to you in ‘cash’ once all shops are es­tab­lished.

“You need $40,000 to buy part­ner­ship in WA.”

The ad goes on to claim, “I am 74 and my last girl­friend was 22yrs (sic)”.

An­other ad reads: “Girls, 18 to 35 part-time, days and nights. Earn up to $1000 a week.” Nar­ro­gin chief ex­ec­u­tive Dale Ste­wart said the Shire was aware of the com­mu­nity con­cern.

“Staff are work­ing with both the pro­pri­etor and land­lord to as­cer­tain the na­ture of the busi­ness pro­posed to en­sure that ap­pro­pri­ate ap­pli­ca­tions for ap­proval are sought prior to com­mence­ment of trad­ing,” he said.

“De­pend­ing on the na­ture of the trad­ing pro­posal, the Shire of­fi­cers may re­fer the pro­posal to coun­cil for ad­ver­tis­ing and de­ter­mi­na­tion of whether the par­tic­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties are per­mis­si­ble in the lo­ca­tion pro­posed.”

In 2008, Levi was sent to prison for 10 months, six months sus­pended, for five counts of con­tempt of court. At the time, the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion chair­man Graeme Sa­muel la­belled Levi a “fraud­ster” and one of Aus­tralia’s most “no­to­ri­ous con­men”.

Levi, also known as Ron Fred­er­ick, has a long list of con­vic­tions, dat­ing as far back as the late 90s in the US where he was sent to prison for a scam which in­volved sell­ing fran­chises for two busi­nesses.

A news­pa­per re­port in 2011 said the FBI es­ti­mated Levi had conned more than $2 mil­lion from Amer­i­can in­vestors in the late 1990s.

Pic­ture: Mo­gens Jo­hansen

Bon Levi in 2010.

A sign at the par­lour.

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