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Dominic Elfer, one of the directors of Diamond Bidz who is currently disputing his involvement in the company
Dominic Elfer, one of the directors of Diamond Bidz who is currently disputing his involvement in the company

Diamond Bidz open or closed?

While the website for a new online retailer established by a director of Diamond Exchange proudly announces that it has launched in Australia, its telephone remains unanswered and the office address listed is ficticious.
Diamondbidz.com.au was launched in September last year amid the Diamond Exchange debacle. Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) documents obtained at the time by Jeweller listed three directors at the helm of the new online diamond retailer – Diamond Exchange director Wayne Solomon, chief financial officer Simon Middleton and another man named Dominic Elfer.

Three months later, the Diamond Bidz website appears to be fully operational, but telephone calls to the company’s Melbourne phone number meet a constant engaged signal.

To confuse the matter more, the website lists the address of Diamond Bidz as Level 3A, 267 Collins Street, but there is no Level 3A in the building.

The building’s managing agents, Allard & Sheldon, said no space has ever been let in the building to a business called Diamondbidz.com.au and confirmed Level 3A does not exist.

Even the management details listed on official ASIC documents have been thrown into question. Elfer denies that he is a director of the company and told Jeweller he has taken legal action to get his name removed from ASIC's documents.

“I was never a director of the company. I had discussions with Simon Middleton about being involved but that was all. I have instructed my solicitor to write to ASIC about my name being fraudulently listed as a director,” he said.

Elfer is managing director of Max Interactive, part of digital marketing business Ybrant Digital Network. The business's site states, “Dominic Elfer brings thirteen years of experience in running network sales across Europe, Asia and Australia. In 1996 he aided the set up of the UK's first ever internet advertising network, TSMS, as sales director.”

Before it was liquidated in November, Diamond Exchange listed its address as Level 7, 267 Collins Street, Melbourne. When launched last September, Diamond Bidz stated that it operated from Level 3A in the same building.

While Diamond Exchange’s website still appears online, it is non-operational with a message advising that the website is “under maintenance”.

However, there is no similar message on Diamondbidz.com.au to indicate that it has closed and the Contact Us page still advises customers that the business is located on the non-existent Level 3A.

Diamond Bidz has a number of “live” auctions currently listed with bidding remaining open until February 8 while the site also displays a range of 38 Ed Hardy jewellery items as being “recently listed”.

Ironically the Australian distributor of Ed Hardy jewellery and fashion apparel was liquidated last August.

Alex Dempsey, property manager at Allard & Sheldon, said that she had never heard of a business called Diamond Bidz and confirmed that the property manager has office space to let in the building after the demise of Diamond Exchange.

Diamond Exchange went into liquidation and closed its doors late last November after two court hearings. According to Con Kokkinos from Worrells, who has been appointed liquidator for the business, there is little chance that any of the consumers will receive refunds. He said Diamond Exchange’s debts totalled $2.5 million, with $1 million being owed to consumers.

More reading:
Diamond Exchange director sets up new company
Diamond Exchange closes owing $2.5 million

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