Plastic surgeon to sue Toorak auctioneer
The Sunday Age
Sunday March 13, 2011
A PROMINENT plastic surgeon has accused a Toorak real estate agent of trying to inflate the value of his sister's property by fabricating an offer during post-auction negotiations.The imbroglio will be resolved in the County Court in May after mediation talks broke down, while Consumer Affairs Victoria is expected to investigate alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act and underquoting.In February last year, RT Edgar agent Greg Herman auctioned two apartments on Toorak Road owned by his sister, Kendra Abay, and her estranged husband Michael Abay.This was not Mr Abay's first scrape with a plastic surgeon: he was in jail at the time of the auction, serving a nine-month sentence for trying to extort $100,000 from plastic surgeon Leo Rozner and another Toorak resident.The Abays' apartments are next to a plastic surgery clinic owned by Dr Chris Moss, who wanted to buy the properties to thwart any plans for a high-rise that might compromise the privacy of his celebrity clients.The apartments were passed in after Mr Herman, on behalf of the vendors, rejected a $2.11 million bid by Dr Moss's representative.According to legal documents, Dr Moss alleges Mr Herman then told him a property developer called Tom in a pink shirt had offered $2.6 million. But Dr Moss claims Tom's final offer was $2.35 million and Mr Herman falsified the offer to ramp up the price of his sister's property.But lawyers for Mr Herman claim he did receive an offer of $2.6 million, which came instead from his step-nephew Stuart Fleetwood, who arrived after the auction.Dr Moss paid $2.7 million for the apartments, which RT Edgar had quoted at "$2 million plus" despite a reserve of $2.5 million.Legal documents reveal Dr Moss will seek up to $600,000 plus legal costs through civil action.