1: For some reason, Tim came back to Australia, under his own name.
2: The authorities immediately took his passport away.
3: He went to court to ask for his passport back, so he could “travel for business purposes”, whereupon…
4: …the Firepower liquidators served him with papers ordering him to appear at a Federal-court civil hearing launched by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which body has been following Tim around for a while now, bolting each door behind him after he has galloped through.
Perhaps we’ll eventually know why it was that Tim came back under his own name and then decided to appear in public to try to get his passport back; on the surface, these seem to be the actions of a crazy man. But it would appear that he’s had another moment of clarity, because now he’s decided to not turn up at the hearing.
(On the grounds that he’s suddenly too ill to travel, which isn’t very original.)
Johnston is also apparently headed for personal bankruptcy, an event that punctuates the lives of entrepreneurial scam artists with metronomic regularity.
But I like these weird, unexplained deviations from the standard scam-artist script that Johnston keeps coming up with. I wonder what he’ll do next?
UPDATE: The liquidator has now applied for an arrest warrant, to encourage the suddenly-taken-ill Johnston to actually turn up in court. Oh, and apparently Mr Johnston is currently being legally represented by a man who says he’s a lawyer, but does not appear to actually be one. I wonder what qualifications the doctor who wrote Johnston’s sick note will turn out to have?
In a further shocking development, some bloke who gave Tim $450,000 and was “confident he would get a good return” is now a bit upset. This guy made his “investment” in 2007. I could see that Firepower was obviously a scam in 2006, and Gerard Ryle’s first Sydney Morning Herald feature story about Firepower, which explained just how loudly the whole operation screamed “scam”, came out at the very beginning of ‘07.
I can kind of understand the “mum and dad” investors who sink their life savings of $5000 or so into some charlatan’s scheme without looking into it adequately. But what kind of person who doesn’t own his own Middle Eastern nation would invest almost half a million bucks in something that five minutes with Google would show him is very similar to a long line of previous products, some sold by the same guy who’s selling this newest one, that all turned out to be scams?