Fake mining magazines scamming money from companies in resources sector

Mining companies are being warned to do their research as a fake publishing company charges money for print ads in magazines which do not exist.

NSW Fair Trading has warned businesses and the public not to deal with Peter Noel Anthony Sorensen and the entities Construction Mining & Resource Media and Mining & Resource Media as they are being used in a false billing scam targeting the mining sector.

Sorensen, who in October was charged with the same offence and fined $40,000, has relaunched his scam operation, with more than 100 mining companies falling victim.

According to the department Sorensen has sent invoices seeking payment for non-existent ads placed in a number of publications including Australian Mining and Resource Journal, Australian Mining & Construction Journal and Australian Energy and Resources Journal.

It is believed more than $300,000 has been scammed so far.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said invoices request payment within 14 days, following which company account departments are contacted by a man who threatens the company with disclosure and recovery actions if payment is not made.

The businessed named Construction Mining & Resource Media and Mining & Resource Media bear the same ABN, which belongs to Sorensen.

“Consumers and corporations receiving invoices alleging to be for advertising from these entities should report the matter to Fair Trading. Do not pay these invoices,” Stowe said.

The warning comes nine months after Sorensen was found guilty of the same dodgy scheme.

On 15 October 2013, Sorensen, formerly trading as Commerce and Resource Productions, pleaded guilty to a total of 32 charges of “asserting right for payment for unsolicited services”. 

He was convicted and fined $40,000 with $3,220 costs. He was also ordered to pay $96,600.50 compensation to five mining companies within 28 days.

NSW Fair Trading defended the prosecution, stating the fine was ‘‘appropriate given the circumstances’’ as it was the first time Sorensen had been before the court for "such offences".

However a spokeswoman said a second prosecution could lead to a jail sentence of up to two years.

The only companies who last year agreed to go public in their dealings with Sorensen were Patrick Ports, Neumann Contactors, Bonacci Group, Hot Chili and Power Equipment.

Stowe said these companies paid the invoices although they had not requested Mr Sorensen or his business to do any advertising for them.

The fictitious publications known to be used by Sorensen included the following: National Minerals and Mining Journal, Australian Mining and Resources, Australian Mining and Energy, The Mining Industries National Review, The National Resources and Minerals, The National Mining Review, The National Minerals and Mining Journal, The Nationals Minerals and Mining Annual, The Mining Industries National Review Annual, Australian Mining and Energy Annual, The Minerals and Mining National, The National Resources and Mining Annual, The Australian Mining and Minerals Construction, The National Resources and Energy, The Resources and Mining National, The Minerals and Mining Guide, The Nationals Mining and Energy and The Mining Industries National Review.

Image: SMH.com


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