Columnist in court

COURTS:

The Bug’s financial and investment commentator has appeared in court on charges of false pretences, misappropriation, and trespass brought against him by the state’s consumer watchdog.

Morrison Edison Carlo Ponzi Phar-Lap Bezzle, address and age unknown, pleaded not guilty to a string of charges in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Speaking outside the court after the matters were adjourned, Mr Bezzle (main picture) said he would “vigorously challenge” all charges laid against him.

“These are just more trumped up charges levelled against me by the Office of Fair Trading that’s full of shiny-arsed pen-pushers who haven’t worked a day in their lives,” Mr Bezzle said.

“I’m just a small businessman trying to get ahead in the current risky business environment.

“As if trying to turn a quid with the pandemic hanging over your shoulder isn’t bad enough I also have to fight a virus of vindictiveness originating in the OFT.”

The court was told Mr Bezzle was charged after complaints were made to Queensland Police by a number of consumers and Sydney-based entertainment companies, the Michael Cassell Group, and the Walt Disney Company (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Police alleged in court that Mr Bezzle had sold $3,200 package deals to at least 42 people who had later lodged complaints with the OFT.

The court was told it would be alleged that complainants had paid Mr Bezzle under the impression that they were buying tickets for travel, accommodation and theatre tickets to see the blockbuster US stage musical Hamilton and Disney’s stage version of Frozen both of which were currently playing at theatres in Sydney.

It was alleged that purchasers complained after being told to meet at Brisbane Airport where they had anticipated boarding a flight to Sydney but were instead instructed to board a bus driven by Mr Bezzle and taken on a two-hour bus tour of the nearby Brisbane riverside suburb of Hamilton and a visit to the Northside Ice Works at nearby Eagle Farm.

Speaking after the adjournment of his case, Mr Bezzle said he would fight the charges when the matter returned to court.