This is a sorry tale of deception and blatant criminality, which saw Terry Goldberg, an equity partner of Turner Freeman Lawyers, act with stealth over a protracted period to strip a church and registered charity of its substantial assets, having employed deceptive methods to do so.
See below to see how events unfolded and how large amounts of money have seemingly vanished; all to the benefit of Mr Goldberg and his associates, business and otherwise.
Updated April 2020: Before reading the below, it may be wise to initially peruse a condensed timeline of events which can be found here, which will provide you with an understanding of the wrongdoing with the quickest of glances.
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Terry Goldberg’s claim to be acting for the church was disputed by return letter on 11 September 2009, telling Mr Goldberg that the firm of solicitors who took care of the church’s interests was Boyd House & Partners. It was impossible that Turner Freeman acted for Enmore Spiritualist Church as no committee resolution had been made determining such, and for that matter, no committee meeting had been held at all even discussing that eventuality.
Terry Goldberg obviously acquiesced to this point, as in his next letter, dated 24 September 2009, he correctly states that he acts for four individuals, i.e. “We act for Reverend Patricia Cleary, Caroline Allen, Matilda Vila and Miranda McCarthy (also known as Mandy Miami)” (as below).
Patricia Cleary, along with three of her compatriots, then commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of NSW and a summons was issued naming five church members as defendants and naming the church itself as the sixth defendant (see below). The church was also an unrepresented party in the proceedings. You will find links to the full summons and other court documents at the top right hand corner of this site (or at the bottom of this page if you are using a mobile).
As stated above, the church was an unrepresented party, and as you can see from the above page from the summons which lists the parties, Turner Freeman did not act for the church in any fashion.
In fact, Terence Goldberg, in his affidavits of 24 November 2009 and 25 November 2009, states that he acts for the plaintiffs only, and also makes several references to the fact that he acts for the plaintiffs only.
Terry Goldberg does not once state in his affidavits that he acts for the sixth defendant. And besides, a solicitor is statute barred from acting for both and opposing parties in any court proceedings. See Rule 7.25 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules.
The main thrust of the proceedings was to invalidate the meeting of 10 September 2009 where the committee was dissolved and where Patricia Cleary lost her role as president.
Justice Bergin, Chief Judge in Equity, who presided over the hearing, declined to make the orders sought and instead made one order only, being: “Each party is to pay their own costs” (see below for the full transcript of the proceedings).
You will note in the below transcript that Chris Bevan, barrister (8 Wentworth Chambers, Sydney), as retained by Turner Freeman Lawyers, acts for the plaintiffs only in the proceedings. The transcript can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking here or on the graphics below.
The fraudulent statements
Things then take an interesting turn, as on 23 July 2010, Turner Freeman filed with the Supreme Court of NSW an Application for Assessment of Solicitor/Client Costs naming the church as a respondent. How can this be so?
The church could only be named as a respondent if it had been a client of the firm, which it had not been, nor could it have been as it had been listed as a defendant in the said proceedings, and was also an unrepresented party.
You will see in the narrative of this Application for Assessment of Solicitor/Client Costs that Turner Freeman makes the false claim that it acted for the church, while also making various other improper and wrongful claims.
You will notice below that Turner Freeman makes the direct statement that there are five defendants. As we have seen from the summons above, there were six defendants; Enmore Spiritualist Church being the sixth defendant.
Turner Freeman makes the claim in the Application for Assessment of Solicitor/Client Costs “On 12/06/09 a committee meeting was held and a resolution passed removing Waters, Terelinck and Hemington as committee members of the Church“, yet on 24 September 2009, Terry Goldberg makes a completely contradictory statement:
You will note below that Turner Freeman states that they arranged for personal service on each of the named defendants, yet this is at odds with an order of the court, dated 25 November 2009 where it states “I excuse the plaintiffs from serving the 6th defendant at this stage”.
You will see below that Turner Freeman states “…when final Judgment/Orders were entered providing”. This is totally at odds with the transcript from the proceedings where her Honour makes one order only.
You will note that Turner Freeman also makes the statements in the said Application:
- each of the five Defendants are to deliver to Turner Freeman books of accounts, keys and any other Church property
- each of the Defendants was permanently restrained from entering the Church premises or taking control of any property
- each of the Defendants was restrained from calling meetings
Turner Freeman specifically states that there are five defendants in the proceedings, ie: “each of the five Defendants”, “each of the Defendants was permanently restrained”, “each of the Defendants was restrained”.
As stated above, there were six defendants in proceedings 2009/00291458-001; Enmore Spiritualist Church Incorporated being the sixth defendant.
You will note that the Application for Assessment of Solicitor/Client Costs does not mention once that Enmore Spiritualist Church was in fact a defendant.
It also states above that “11. each party is to bear its own costs”. Given that order, how therefore did the plaintiffs in the proceedings have their legal costs paid by the sixth defendant?
As the order made in the proceedings was that each party was to bear its own costs, it thereby prevented any plaintiff from making a financial claim against any defendant in the same proceedings.
Why therefore did Assessor John Bartos issue a certificate of determination against the sixth defendant which benefited the plaintiffs? The certificate of determination can be downloaded in pdf format by either clicking here or on the graphic below.
You will note that the certificate of determination is in the amount of $124,661.90 and Turner Freeman subsequently obtained a judgment debt in the same amount against Enmore Spiritualist Church and such was issued on 15 March 2011 (as below). The District Court judgment can be downloaded in pdf format by either clicking here or on the graphic below.
Despite the judgment obtained against Enmore Spiritualist Church in the amount of $124,661.90, Turner Freeman subsequently claimed to be owed the now swelled sum of $185,802.62.
It is at this point that things take a rather sinister turn and the matter becomes decidedly criminal in nature (indeed, if it had not been so already).
On 29 May 2014, Terence Goldberg of Turner Freeman Lawyers attended a meeting of supposed creditors at the offices of Jones Partners, 189 Kent Street, Sydney. Terry Goldberg was the only attendee at this supposed meeting of creditors.
However, NSW Fair Trading has confirmed that Turner Freeman Lawyers was paid all moneys supposedly owing to that firm on 20 December 2012. If, as we are informed, that Turner Freeman Lawyers was paid in 2012, then Terry Goldberg’s attendance at this meeting of creditors is clearly fraudulent.
Also, in order for the quorum to be achieved in relation to such meeting, more than two creditors have to be in attendance. Therefore, the meeting of creditors as held at the offices of Jones Partners, Sydney, was not valid.
See section 5.6.16(2) of the Corporations Regulations.
Terence Goldberg, in that meeting, put forward the proposal to pay Jones Partners the sum of $55,780. As the meeting was invalid, those moneys should not have been paid to Jones Partners out of any moneys owned by Enmore Spiritualist Church Incorporated.
Find below the minutes of this supposed meeting. Those minutes can be downloaded in pdf format by either clicking here, or on any of the following pages.
Partners in crime
Jones Partners and Terence Goldberg have been informed of the non-validity of the above meeting, and either party is yet to take any remedial action.
Note very carefully indeed the paragraph in the minutes of that meeting, which states: “Mr Terence Goldberg representing Turner Freeman Lawyers discussed updates regarding the setting up of the association’s new Trust. Mr Goldberg advised that the lawyers of Perpetual Trustees are currently reviewing the Deed that Turner Freeman Lawyers have prepared with regards to the new association, which will be called “Congregation of Enmore Spiritualist Church Incorporated“.
The said paragraph is slightly confusing at first, however, as it turns out, two things have since occurred. Turner Freeman Lawyers created a Trust by the name of “The Congregation of the Enmore Spiritualist Church Foundation Trust“, and also created a new entity by the name of “The Congregation of the Enmore Spiritualist Church Incorporated“.
If you are confused at this point, it is because you are supposed to be, and this was clearly the design of the perpetrators. It all becomes very clear in due course.
The object of the Trust is to act as a receptacle for the moneys as belonging to the original entity, and to then funnel those moneys into the new entity, with the almost identical name. In fact, the Deed of the said Trust states that its only object is to: “provide funds for the Congregation of the Enmore Spiritualist Church Incorporated…“. The said Deed can be found here.
You will also note that the new entity is in fact a sham entity, with no actual function, and was registered at the time of its inception to the home address of a long time acquaintance of Terry Goldberg, with that same long time acquaintance, Mr Jon Adrian Lindsay, being the registered public officer of this new entity.
Quite obviously, the moneys belonging to the original church have been piped to a new entity (with that new entity being a sham entity) with the Trust having been created solely to provide the illusion of legitimacy. This whole matter has all the hallmarks of not only fraud, but money laundering also.
Jon Adrian Lindsay
You will notice above the name of Jon Adrian Lindsay. You will see that Mr Lindsay’s name appears quite often in this matter. In fact, it was Jon Adrian Lindsay, while claiming to be a creditor, who put forward the motion to wind up the original association known as Enmore Spiritualist Church Incorporated.
You will see that Terence Goldberg represented Jon Lindsay in court proceedings in 2007. Jon Adrian Lindsay is the ex-husband of Miranda McCarthy (aka Mandy Miami), one of the plaintiffs in the abovementioned original Court proceedings. Mr Lindsay and Ms McCarthy remain close.
As mentioned above, Jon Lindsay and Miranda McCarthy remain close. In fact, Jon Lindsay rents his housing commission flat to Ms McCarthy, which is the address of the already mentioned sham entity. Jon Lindsay provides this address as his home address on all documentation. It is believed though that Jon Lindsay in fact resides at 55 Walker Street, Redfern.
You will see from the Constitution of the Congregation of the Enmore Spiritualist Church (the sham entity), which can be found in “Other documents” within this site, that Jon Lindsay gives his address as 3/349 Bourke Street, Darlinghurst. You will also see that three ‘members’ of the sham entity also have the address of 55 Walker Street. It is believed these people do not in fact exist, and have simply been fabricated, as indeed it is believed the case for most of the names of the supposed members of the said sham entity.
It is also pertinent to mention that item 487 (below) of the already mentioned Application for Assessment of Solicitor/Client Costs (as here) that Jon Lindsay acts as an ‘agent’ between the plaintiffs (Turner Freeman’s clients) and Turner Freeman during the run up to the original Court proceedings. Turner Freeman Lawyers also acted for Miranda McCarthy in separate Supreme Court proceedings in 1999.
There is a very clear and obvious link between Terence Goldberg, Jon Lindsay and Miranda McCarthy.
Also, it is the same Jon Adrian Lindsay who was charged with possession of child pornography and who appeared in Ryde Local Court on Wednesday, 20 October 2004, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 22 October 2004 (as below), with the matter ultimately being dealt with in the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, on 14 July 2005.
A bizarre acquaintance
The one question that remains front and foremost in our minds is why would Terence Goldberg, a principal of a large law firm, pass and provide fraudulently obtained moneys to a man with convictions for child sex offences, and why would Terence Goldberg be cavorting with such an individual in the first instance?
We are told that the NSW Police and the office of the Attorney General of NSW have been informed of all the above.
The Law Society and the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner’s turning of a blind eye and mishandling of the issue can be found at https://www.fumbart.com.
Terry Goldberg is married to Suzie Forell, a research director at Health Justice Australia. Suzie Forell’s experience includes working as a researcher at the Independent Commission Against Corruption and as a principal policy analyst at the NSW Police, as well as being a senior researcher at the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, an adjunct senior lecturer at the University of NSW (Law Faculty), and also as Honorary Professor at University College London (Laws). Does Suzie Forell know what her husband is up to?
Christopher John Bevan, barrister
We are told that Terence Goldberg remains closely aligned with Chris Bevan, barrister. You will see Mr Bevan’s name above, having appeared for the four plaintiffs in Supreme Court proceedings 2009/00291458-001. Christopher Bevan also appeared for the plaintiffs in McCarthy v Murphy in the Supreme Court of NSW in 2002; wherein Terence Goldberg was the instructing solicitor and oddly enough, Miranda McCarthy (aka Mandy Miami) was one of the plaintiffs (yes, the same as the above). In the Judgment of such, Mandy’s ex-husband gains a mention, her ex-husband being none other than Jon Lindsay.
There is no suggestion whatsoever that Chris Bevan played any part in the fraudulent dealings of his instructing solicitor (Terry Goldberg), however, what we would say to Mr Bevan is that he is obviously not a very good judge of character and needs to pick his friends a little more carefully.
We are also told that Mr Bevan has been made aware of the said fraudulent dealings on several occasions, and is yet to do anything about it and remains totally silent on the matter and appears to be protecting his ‘friends’ within the honourable profession. So much for the rule of law.
Michael Gregory Jones, Jones Partners, liquidator
Interestingly enough, Michael Jones, the liquidator in this matter, also has a history with both Terence Goldberg and with Chris Bevan (barrister), acting in the same matter, as the same three amigos did in Ren Nominees Pty Ltd v MS Cognosis Pty Limited (No. 1) (2013) FCA 916 (11 September 2013). Michael Jones, the founder and principal of Jones Partners, having been appointed by Turner Freeman Lawyers, sold the church premises back in June 2011, then retained the remaining funds as belonging to the church, only to pass them five years later into a Trust, with that Trust having been set up by Terence Goldberg.
This is the same Trust that had ‘expenses’ of $492,307.00. No explanation for those ‘expenses’ has been forthcoming, with the whereabouts of those funds being presently unknown.
Why would Michael Jones, the liquidator, pass the remaining funds to a solicitor who did not act for the church, and moreover, why would the liquidator pass the remaining funds to a solicitor who set up a Trust and sham entity to receive the said funds? You see, it’s all very strange, as the church was sold in June 2011 for $965,000, and after all claims of debt are paid, there should be a remaining figure of around $700,000, and yet an amount in the region of $985,447 entered the Trust as set up by Terence Goldberg, with the said figure $492,307.00 leaving the Trust seemingly simultaneously.
We are informed that NSW Fair Trading stated, in writing, that the moneys entering the said Trust were placed there by the liquidator.
See timeline below for a summary of all the above. Turner Freeman, your local dodgy lawyers.