Always get a 2nd opinion from the Organized Crime Task Force on the caveat rackets, the lawyers who lodge the caveats, the lawyers who use color of law to keep the caveat on title for massive fees, and the inaction on the part of the legal regulators to pinge the caveat lodging lawyers.
Judge Wilmott in this case says its very real and jailable blackmail.
Standover bikie used fake tongue in debt threat
Rebekah Cavanagh, Herald Sun
December 6, 2019 8:00am
A bikie enforcer used a bag of off-cut meats as a prop human tongue to threaten a man in a bid to settle a debt dispute between Melbourne restaurateurs.
Christopher “Spider” Soutar, 37, from Point Cook, flashed a “1%” diamond tattoo on his chest to show he was from the Black Uhlans outlaw motorcycle gang during the standover attempt on Bobo Diner part-owner Liam McDonnell.
“Show him what we do to c---s who mess us around,” Soutar told an associate, who produced a ziplock bag that appeared to contain flesh and blood.
“That’s some c---’s tongue who tried to get smart with us.”
The standover men had arranged to meet Mr McDonnell in Werribee, where he handed over $2400 of $40,000 being demanded, on October 1 last year.
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Two days later they met again and Mr McDonnell handed over $15,000.
Soutar later that month left a severed pig head at the home of Mr McDonnell’s business partner, Rocco Veneziano. Wedged inside its mouth were photos of Mr Veneziano with his family.
“There is a head in your front yard. Look inside its mouth,” Soutar texted Mr Veneziano.
Earlier, Soutar had threatened to burn down Mr Veneziano’s house, leaving a note in his letterbox saying “Nice house”. He also sent a text message to Mr Veneziano’s wife, saying: “You never know what happens when you pick up your kids from school.”
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The County Court heard Mr McDonnell and Mr Veneziano had been in a financial dispute with their third business partner, Vaughan Thompson.
The trio had operated two Bobo’s Diner restaurants in Melbourne and Geelong from 2013, but when the businesses started having financial difficulty in December 2017, debt collectors came knocking.
When Mr Thompson tried to sell his house in September last year, he couldn’t because Mr Veneziano had put a caveat on the property to secure debts owed to him from an earlier loan agreement.
The court heard Mr Veneziano called Mr Thompson asking about “Spider”.
“What else did you expect me to do? You put a caveat on my property,” Mr Thompson allegedly said.
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County Court judge Wendy Wilmoth described Soutar’s offending as “grave”.
She noted he had no criminal history and had since severed ties with the outlaw motorcycle club, which he had joined in 2015 after the breakdown of his marriage and his dog was baited.
Giving him a discount for his plea of guilty to two counts of blackmail, Judge Wilmoth jailed him for two years and nine months.
He will be eligible for parole after 18 months.
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