“Dena Gifts” store previously known as “ISIS Jewellery & Gifts”

Louis Amin Lattouf      &      Isis Aziz Lattouf

& their

new ‘DENA’ Gift store

Louis Amin Lattouf & Isis Aziz Lattouf after its transformation from the ‘Isis Jewellery & Gifts’

Dena Gifts or ISIS Jewellery and Gifts

The ‘Dena Gifts‘ store which was previously known as “ISIS Jewellery & Gifts” now operates in the Burwood Westfield Shopping Centre in shop 351.

The complainants (on the ISIS Gifts Facebook) allege that this husband and wife store owners offer a “disgusting service with blatant disregard to the fair trading act, …   and   “… extraordinarily ghastly service based on fraud, deceit and misrepresentation“.

Their names are:               Mr. Louis Amin Lattouf      &      Mrs. Isis Aziz Lattouf.

Dena Gifts or ISIS Jewellery and GiftsSome of their customers complain that what is being offered is practically a robbery.

Mr. Louis Amin Lattouf used to have a jewellery store in Randwick – but allegedly closed down and left in a hurry.

Louis Amin Lattouf & Isis Aziz LattoufSome customers who experienced bad service appear to allege that both of these husband and wife “jewelers”  engage in serious ‘Misleading and Deceptive Conduct’ by intentionally deceiving customers about quality, identity and price of the products they are selling.  This amounts to fraud which in some cases may represent criminal offense.

One customer reported purchasing a very expensive jewellery item, hundreds of dollars in value, but realized later that it was not made from what the store owners represented it to be made from.  It was only a cheap fake and not the real deal for which the customer paid.

When the customer returned back to claim refund or exchange for the real thing (on the grounds that he was previously mislead about the quality, identity and price of the product) which he has actually purchased, Isis Aziz Lattouf categorically refused and sent the customer to complain to a Tribunal with a rude hand wrist action.

Similar story was reported again (only recently on 15/01/16) and is reported on:  More recent complaints about Mrs ISIS Aziz Lattouf.

Caveat Emptor!

Purchases in “Dena Gifts“ store previously known as “ISIS Jewellery & Gifts” are strictly at one’s own risk, without any guaranties or warranties.

This place has utter disrespect for customers, their rights, and is only after their money.

These are the reviews that appear on their own “ISIS Gifts” Facebook Page:

Dena Gifts ISIS Jewellery and Gifts Louis Amin Lattouf Isis Aziz LattoufLink to their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/ISIS-GIFTS/356253871160134?sk=timeline&ref=page_internal

 

Potential Issues with Lattouf’s Registration of Business:

It is understood that if proprietor is carrying on business he/she must register a business name in Australia, unless the proprietor trades under his/her own legal name.  It is also understood that while multiple business names can be registered to a single ABN it is generally considered as questionable practice to be trading under a business name which is different from the one which is registered to an ABN.

In the case of Mr & Mrs Lattouf who are registered under “LATTOUF LOUIS AMIN & ISIS AZIZ” with a Trading Name “ISIS JEWELLERY SHOP” it is unclear why their Burwood store operates under the name of DENA.

 

Lattouf’s Registration of Business:

Historical & current details for Mr & Mrs Lattouf’s ABN 29 417 546 326 lookup reveal the following information: [1] & [2]

Entity name From To
LATTOUF LOUIS AMIN  &  ISIS AZIZ 10 May 2001 (current)
LOUIS A & ISIS A LATTOUF 24 Mar 2000 10 May 2001
ABN Status From To
Active 24 Mar 2000 (current)
Entity type
Other Partnership
Goods & Services Tax (GST) From To
Registered 01 Jul 2000 (current)
Main business location From To
NSW 2134 09 Jul 2007 (current)
NSW 2031 25 Aug 2000 09 Jul 2007
Trading name From
ISIS JEWELLERY SHOP 05 Apr 2000
ABN last updated: 10 Jul 2007 Record extracted: 18 Jun 2015

The law & advertising:

Legal Definitions of Fraud:

A false representation of a matter of fact – whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed – that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

or:

the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some dishonest means to deprive another of his/her/its money, property or a legal right.

Unconscionable Conduct:

Section 20 of the ACL appears to refer to the doctrine of unconscionable dealing as it has been interpreted in case law.  This appears to be going beyond the doctrine of unconscionable dealing to include other equitable doctrines, for example, equitable estoppel.

Misleading and Deceptive Conduct

is now covered under section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).  The effect of s.18 is the same as that of s.52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA).  These two sections are equivalent.

The Australian Consumer Law or the (Schedule 2) of the Competition & Consumer Act 2010 dealing with Misleading or Deceptive Conduct states: 

s.18 (1)  A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.

The s.6 of the ACL  extends application of the ACL Act to persons who are not corporations.

The Explanatory Memorandum relating to the ACL clarifies the Parliamentary intent  to make the criminal offenses under s.29 and  s.151  (both dealing with False or Misleading Representations about goods or services) of strict liability so that it is not necessary to consider the intent of the person committing the offense.  The strict liability nature of this offense reflects the potential for widespread detriment, both financially for individual consumers and for its effect on the market and consumer confidence more generally, that can be caused by a proprietor that breaches this provision, whether or not proprietor intended to engage in the contravention.

Criminal Offenses under ACL:

s.33  (dealing with Misleading Conduct as to the nature etc. of goods)

s.35 (dealing with Bait Advertising)

s.155 (dealing with Misleading Conduct as to the nature of goods)

s.156 (dealing with certain Misleading Conduct in relation to services)

s.157 (dealing with Bait Advertising)

Note:  Conduct which previously constituted contraventions under the TPA (specifically  Ch 3 Sections 30 to 50 of the ACL) now also constitutes a criminal offence under Chapter 4 of the ACL.

Misleading Pricing: 

The ACL contains new provisions regulating the pricing of goods or services.  If goods are displayed with two or more prices, they must not be supplied except for the lower or lowest of those displayed prices.  (Civil liability s.47, Criminal liability s.165)

Tom Brennan ACL 2011

 Penalties & Remedies:

A maximum civil pecuniary penalty for contravention of s.29 of the ACL is up to:
• $1.1 million for a body corporate;
• $220,000 for other persons.

The following enforcement powers and remedies apply to s.29 of the ACL:
• injunctions  [Schedule 1, item 1: Chapter 5, Part 5-2, Division 2]
• damages  [Schedule 1, item 1: Chapter 5, Part 5-2 ,Division 3]
• compensatory orders  [Schedule 1, item 1: Chapter 5, Part 5-2, Division 4, Subdivision A]
• redress for non-parties; and  [Schedule 1, item 1: Chapter 5, Part 5-2, Division 4, Subdivision B]
• non-punitive orders  [Schedule 1, item 1: Chapter 5, Part 5-2, Division 5, section 246]

Parallel criminal and civil prohibitions

Section 4C of the Crimes Act 1904 provides some protection against double jeopardy where an act or omission constitutes an offense under two or more laws of the Commonwealth or under both a law of the Commonwealth and at common law.

However, this protection does not extend to liability for civil penalties.

Criminal proceedings may be started against a person for conduct that is substantially the same as a consumer protection contravention regardless of whether a pecuniary penalty order has been made against the person in respect of the contravention.  [Schedule 1, item 1: Chapter 5, Part 5-2, Division 1, subsection 225(3)]

Criminal proceedings may be undertaken after civil proceedings to ensure that civil remedies do not preclude later criminal penalties from being imposed.  It is usual to stay the civil proceedings until the criminal proceedings are completed after which time, if the defendant is convicted of the criminal offense, the civil proceedings are terminated.

Explanatory Note:

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) (formerly known as the Trade Practices Act 1974) is now a national law that governs how all businesses in Australia must deal with their competitors, suppliers and customers.

Specific provisions relating to the treatment of consumers can be found in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which is contained in a Schedule 2 to the CCA.

While the terms “misleading” and “deceptive” are not defined in the new ACL Act, the overall impression created by the alleged conduct will be used to determine whether it is likely to lead a significant number of people into error or has the tendency to deceive any reasonable person.

In general, misleading someone may include conduct ranging from lying to them, to making false or inaccurate claims, or creating a false impression, or leading them to a wrong conclusion, or omitting important information.

In this context of importance is that it is not necessary to establish that the trader intended to mislead or deceive.  A person or corporation may have engaged in conduct that was misleading or deceptive even if they have acted honestly and reasonably.

Misleading or deceptive conduct is a form of fraud and therefore is a “strict liability” offense.  Therefore it does not matter whether the conduct was intended to mislead or not, because the person making a representation is better placed to know about what they are representing.  For this reason  the law is constructed to shift the onus of ensuring that the representation is true onto the person making it.

‘Cause of Action’ & ‘Statute of Limitations’ in the context of ACL:

Cause of Action is defined as:  “the fact or combination of facts that gives rise to a right to bring a civil proceeding”.

Cause of Action in relation to a fraudulent breach of trust may sometimes attract more relaxed Statute of Limitation of 12 years “running from the date when the plaintiff, …, first discovers or may with reasonable diligence discover the facts giving rise to the cause of action”.

In cases of fraud occasioned by the defendant where there is fraudulent concealment there is further possibility of extension because the Defendant cannot longer be said to suffer prejudice which would make the granting of relief unjust.

References:

The Honourable Justice M J Leeming, NSW Court of Appeal, ‘Common law, equity and statute: limitations and analogies’, Private Law Seminar, University of Technology, Sydney, 14 November 2014, [13-14].

Torrens Aloha Pty Ltd v Citibank NA (1997) 72 FCR 581, 596;   &   Baker v Courage [1910] 1 KB 56, 62-63.

In equity, time starts running when the plaintiff either discovers or, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, ought to have discovered that he or she is entitled to relief” [Ref: Alberta Institute of Law Research and Reform, ‘Limitations’ Report for Discussion No. 4 (1986) (‘AILRR, Report 1986’) [2.12];   See also, Torrens Aloha Pty Ltd v Citibank NA (1997) 72 FCR 581, 596.]

Baker v Courage & Co [1910] 1 KB 56, 63: “In cases of fraud … they hold that the statute runs from discovery, because the laches of the plaintiff commences from that date, on his acquaintance with all the circumstances. In this Courts of equity differ from Courts of law, which are absolutely bound by the words of the statute. Mistake is, I think, within the same rule as fraud. … [W]here a party had not the means of knowing the truth equity would not consider laches to be attributable to him, and therefore the equitable period of limitation would not run against him.”

References:  http://www.lawhandbook.org.au/handbook/ch12s03s01.php

Barrister Tom Brennan, Australian Consumer Law, 01/01/2011

Therese Catanzariti, Australian Consumer Law & Standard Contracts, 14 January 2011

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For advice on the topic of ACL contact

Barrister Tom Brennan, Email:  brennan@selbornechambers.com.au

13th Floor, Wentworth and Selborne Chambers, 174 Phillip Street, Sydney