Yesterday a dude that I’m suing for $16k made an unannounced and unscheduled visit to me in Matapuna. It started off all chatty and pleasant but it ended still chatty and rather tense. My take here is best summarised that Clarry Withers of New Plymouth does indeed have some form of Autism; is a weetbix short of a breakfast’ (if you know what I mean}; is clearly out of his depth in business matters and having supposedly won a gazillion bucks in court, he is actually rather worried that his pot of gold at the end of his imaginary rainbow has as much substance as the mirage of a rainbow he sees itself. Enjoy.
In July of 2020, I bought a company that had previously sued Clarence William Withers for an unpaid debt of $16k, being roofing work completed on his large New Plymouth home. In fact the bill was more like $25k but he paid some of it and he disputed the balance. Apparently he has a reputation around town as a “professional swindler” which I found out when I did my usual pre-purchase due-diligence enquiries, sort of thing – at that stage not a formal investigation per se. When I bought it I renamed my company “2004 Holdings Ltd” then later after Clarry’s dopey lawyers had reinstated it, to “Clarence William Withers (Professional Swindler) Sting Operation Ltd”.
Following the purchase, and deeper analysis I concluded that my instincts on the company position was bang on and so I cleared the companies accounts (i.e. I traded it down to a zero ledger – no assets & no liabilities) and closed it. Technically I simply let its registration lapse which has the same effect as Gazetting its removal and applying to have it struck off. COVID delays notwithstanding it was ultimately de-registered and ceased to exist. In the meantime Clarry’s counterclaim of a gazillion dollars proceeded to court, the New Plymouth District Court to be precise.
There has been a little bit of legal argey-bargey about Clarry’s counter-claim, because as far as I can work out Clarry’s lawyers failed to note that I had bought the company, thus they effectively misled the court, and as a result of this ‘naughtiness’, I was refused the opportunity to represent either myself or the company. They (that’s Clarry’s ‘naughty’ lawyers) then tried to cover their error up by slipping notice to the New Plymouth DCJ that they had “just found out” (a day or so before the hearing) that the company ceased to exist, but that the hearing should proceed because they intended to apply to the companies office to reinstate the company, and not informing me or my company of this fact (which they are obligated to do). Oops! “Not lawyers lying again?” you quip, with a hint of sarcasm?
Whatever! Shit happens, lawyers do this sort of thing all the time, probably thinking that they can get away with it “because they are lawyers …”. The higher courts can sort it all out in due course if they want to ensure that justice is seen to exist in New Zealand. I’m a little ambivalent on this one as the thought that a lawyer can err, cover-up and get away with it doesn’t sit nicely with me if the judges want to protect their own over this, but even if they do get away with it, it will have no affect on me if Clarry does manage to wind the company up. He thinks that the company has shuffled assets out of it prior to closing it down so as to avoid receivership but it doesn’t own anything, and he’s in for a little surprise if he thinks there’s been any shonky business from our end. As an aside I just love working with and exposing crooked lawyers! They are so predictable. They really do seem to be the elite of society (certainly in their own minds) with their IQs & income in the stratosphere and their EQs & Ethics often in inverse proportion to their wild delusions of grandeur.
So Clarry rolled on in here without notice – no email, phone call or announcement. “You poor thing! The previous owner is a crook and has conned you big time! I feel sorry for you, because it’s not your fault!” sort of thing, to begin with anyway. I listened with interest to Clarry as he went on and on defaming this poor dude behind his back. I knew of course that the general feeling within the business community down there was actually the reverse of his take. Despite telling me that he had an exemplary record in business and was trusted by the government and the police to do business, there were some pretty negative feelings about this dude (I’ve previously blogged warning the public about this dude). His multiple, clear and repeated claims that the previous owner had ethics issues, no lawyer in New Plymouth would ever help him and so on were totally slanderous – technically or legally called, “defamation”, and I knew this, because I met that guy in church back in the early 2000s and to me, he’s as straight as a die.
I won’t go through the conversation in detail again as I summarised it to the previous owner but I’ll pick a couple of points that Clarry seems to have focussed on.
Photos of his house
My publication of his house photo seemed to agitate Clarry. He asked how I got it, the one above. I didn’t answer at the time and he wasn’t committed to getting an answer to the question but they were of course legitimate sources. When Clarry left, he turned around and took a photo of me and Club Wairua which is still under construction. This seemed to me to be a bit of tit for tat. I have no issues with people taking photos of me or my property if this is done from a public place or with my knowledge or approval. Clarry cannot say that though, about any photo that he took from more than 300m into my gated and locked property. If he had asked me, I would have told him to go to the neighbour’s place or the roadway and take it. He should be VERY careful what he does with it because he does not have my permission to enter a locked gate and photograph Club Wairua things. Club Wairua is a private members only premises and he did not seek permission to enter, although I did permit him to stay and talk as long as he wanted once he was here. I have reserved the right to trespass him at any stage should I deem this necessary, notifying his lawyers of this possibility. Hopefully they can talk sense into the guy but I tend to think that he’s a loose cannon and will do his own thing anyway.
The Pot of Gold Mirage
Clarry seems to think that he has won a court case and will get a gazillion dollars from somewhere. He’s not applying sound logic and hasn’t got the facts – you need both of these factors to deal with reality. When he asked, I told him (twice) that one of the reasons I bought the company was “in order to undertake a sting operation against him” and by that I meant Clarry personally. I wanted the world to know the truth about this New Plymouth businessman who has upset and hurt so many people in Taranaki.
To be honest at that stage I didn’t know how this would play out, but most people would exercise caution when hearing that. Most people would smell a rat and want to know why I would do that; and why I would be so open and honest about it; and they would wonder WTF was going on. Clarry could not work out why I named the company after him and never ‘got it’.
He’s got the impression that he can just include the previous owner and his other companies in the court case, “because his business has a vehicle [and tools of the trade]” and so on. He went on and on about a list of company assets (that he obviously hopes to get his hands on), when I bought it, but I think it’s my business to know what I am buying and to check out it’s assets and liabilities at a given point in time.
Sorry Clarry. There’s nothing at the end of the rainbow, certainly no gold and I’ve told your lawyers that at the outset. Reinstating a company to allow a judgment to proceed against it doesn’t make sense to me, unless of course you think that there is fraud and deception involved, but just because you and your lawyer may play the dark side yourself doesn’t mean that everyone does! Nope, no gold and no fraud either, sir!
Lacking smarts & the ASD thing
Calling people names is one thing. We all do it from time to time – knocking others around a water cooler or over a beer. “He’s a real jerk, or a crook!” sort of thing. We get that, but laying it on thick like Clarry did about my mate whom I bought the company off is real dangerous stuff, made a lot worse by the legal circumstances.
I can say things in public [i.e. on this blog here] about Clarry because I only ever speak the truth and he owes me money and Clarry can say what he likes about my ethics, pedigree or business, as long as it is clearly opinion and a reasonable belief based on reasonable information. He cannot though ping another person with whom he crossed swords with before I bought the company, when what he says is an outright falsehood.
I have asked Clarry (in person and now through his lawyers) to give the grounds upon which he defamed my mate. He can’t so he needs to withdraw and apologise in writing. I doubt that he can do the former and there is no way in a month of Sundays that his lawyer would let him withdraw – forget the apology even, for THAT’s never going to happen!
The take-home for me is that this guy is a little short up top and shows many times that he has symptoms of some form of Autism. ASD is a spectrum, meaning that an accurate diagnosis of where he sits in this spectrum is nigh on impossible to the lay person. The best thing I can say is that Clarence William Withers is “a little different”; doesn’t ‘get it’ the same as regular people and is probably best avoided in business. I caution people to avoid the application of binary logic in this kind of case – it is not just a simple matter of “He’s bad!” and therefore I am good. No! It is a matter of understanding what we are dealing with and then applying wisdom as best as we can.
WTF is happening? Why, why, why?
IMHO, Clarry, his family and his legal team have every right to know and understand WTF is happening with this sting operation, so . . .
I commenced the sting operation the day that I bought the company. I’ve always acted lawfully and morally – although those currently on the end of my verbal venom may not see it that way, yet. A sting operation designed by a criminal is most likely designed to profit the sting designer, but with a sting operation that is designed to get the truth out there (which this one is), then everything that happens is by design going to assist the cause.
The hook is now in and Clarry will find what his lawyers found . . . if you f*** with a blogger determined to never give up, you better make sure that you do not have any skeletons in your closet and that you do things right. Like a Chinese finger trap, every time Clarry or his crooked lawyers sneeze, or speak or move, the noose tightens.
You see, for me, there is no end. I don’t want or need anything from anyone. Money matters to one side for the moment I’ve already won this war. Clarry, Lauren, whoever . . . please understand that I’m an investigative blogger and author who lives by principle. I don’t want anything from you – if you want to do or say stupid or illegal things then go ahead. I’ll simply write about it and the world can know. Do the honourable thing though, and I’ll do the same. If I’ve got something wrong, just tell me and I’ll agree or correct anything if I have to.
You see, this is my life and I play for keeps.
I conclude now with some advice, knowing full well that most never deign to ‘come down’ sufficient to revise their positions but:
Lauren, you and your legal firm screwed up. Face it. Own it.
You had a chance to do a deal and give good advice to your client and blew it. You did not check the companies register for the latest ownership change and you were in court when the judge rejected my legitimate and legal notice of change of service address and representation. This meant that you supported an error by the DCJ which if you had simply confessed and then done the right thing you would not be in the poo that you currently are.
You then tried to cover-up which was your second mistake and you failed to inform me or the defendant company as you should have, which was your third mistake. If you have charged your client for anything to do with matters following your mistake (and I am SURE that you will have) then this will have been your fourth mistake.
You responded to my legal threat in a casual and unprofessional manner which was your fifth mistake. You shut up quick smart when you finally did what I suggested and took my threat to your underwriter though. Am I correct that they told you to STFU? Most underwriters either know me or they know the risks associated with playing my game on my turf. You deal with the law in the court environment. I however, deal with truth and I do so in public.
Be VERY careful moving forward and hope like hell that your client never turns to me and asks me for help, because it will cost you and your law firm a LOT! It should NEVER have gotten this far if you had been onto your game and acted professionally and in your client’s best interest.
Clarry, read my blogging carefully and seek advice from people who do not have a vested interest in these matters. That’s a sneaky way of telling you to get advice from someone who you are not paying. You don’t have anything against the previous owner, nor against me or my company – nothing. You’ll see. Cough up the money you owe me (or do a deal) and avoid the matters getting worse. You’ve told me that you have spent $60k in legal fees, and that it cost you $30k to wind my company up but all I have to do is find one honest judge with common sense and you will be right back to the beginning with a legal fight, and you’ll not get a cent from me – just trouble! That, I promise.
Furthermore those figures you gave me are either BS because nobody is that silly to spend that sort of money just to avoid paying $16k, or you just don’t get it. The nature of this sting operation Clarry is seen by analysing the reason that you called in to see me. Why did you do that? Are you worried that you might have made a mistake? I think maybe you have.
Every time your name and dopey conduct gets out there on the Interweb thingy, I win and you lose. Every blog post. Every book; Every chapter in a book; Every Public Notice in the local rag; Every social media post and link and I win, you lose. But think about this Clarry, what about this possibility? What say you sue your lawyers and I support you and they settle with you and I blog about that? Hint: I would and they would. What say you do the honourable thing and pay your bills . . . do you think I would not tell the world the same? Hint: I would.
To others, whatever you do, don’t mess with people like me fearless to speak the truth and to stand up to crooks, crims and crazies . . . especially if they/you have skeletons in your closet. We can be a dangerous adversary. Keep away from us, and thank
your lucky stars God that I’m on your side and not after you too . . .
Look, people, it is so simple to do the honourable thing. So effing simple! It’s only ever pride that gets in the way and makes it so hard. Just eat humble pie and do it will ya?