A luxury car dealership that sold premium vehicles in Sydney is suing a government minister over a public statement made in 2017.
Luxury car dealership who was acquitted of defrauding high-end customers sues NSW Government Minister Matt Kean for libel following a public warning issued three and a half years ago .
In September 2017, while serving as Minister for Regulatory Improvement, Kean issued a forceful statement telling the public to stay away from Bevin Ronald Clayton and his Woolloomooloo Clayton Bespoke car dealership.
Mr Kean noted that the dealership had Rolls Royce Phantoms and Tesla in stock before it said its customers had not received payment or had seen bad checks. He called Mr. Clayton’s conduct “just not good enough”.
Mr Clayton was charged after 11 complaints and 16 inquiries about Clayton Bespoke to NSW Fair Trading, sparking an investigation.
In May 2020, he was acquitted on appeal by the district court on three counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage through deception and one count of providing false documents.
Last week, Mr. Clayton filed a libel suit against Mr. Kean in Federal Court alleging the minister falsely suggested he was a dishonest dealer who scammed customers to the tune of $ 1 million.
His request was signed by Sue Chrysanthou SC, the lawyer appointed by Christian Porter to act in the defamation case of the former attorney general against the CBA.
Ms Chrysanthou is no stranger to libel cases involving politicians, having also represented Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young in her case against David Leyonhjelm and former Liberal employee Brittany Higgins in her deal with Senator Linda Reynolds.
Mr. Clayton continues a statement posted on Mr. Kean’s official website and promoted on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Mr Clayton claims Mr Kean defamed him by describing him as a “thief” who was so dishonest and untrustworthy as a car dealership that a public warning was required.
He also alleges that the Minister falsely implied that he had “failed to account to his customers for large sums of money and, in some cases, even for their vehicles which they had entrusted to him for sale”.
Mr Clayton says in court documents that he asked Mr Kean to withdraw the statement on February 11 of this year, but that it remained in effect when he filed the complaint.
He seeks damages and an injunction prohibiting Mr. Kean from reposting any statement about him deemed defamatory.
He alleges that Mr Kean’s conduct was made worse by the Minister’s not granting him a right of reply before issuing the statement and by promoting the statement in media interviews and on social media. social.
Among those Mr. Clayton identifies as having downloaded Mr. Kean’s statement is Bennelong federal member John Alexander.
Clayton Bespoke was placed in receivership on September 25, 2017.
NSW Fair Trading said it canceled Clayton Bespoke’s car dealership license in October 2017 and was no longer pursuing any action against Mr. Clayton.
Mr. Kean declined to comment. Mr. Clayton’s attorney did not respond to NCA NewsWire’s inquiries.