Ron Bakir

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Ron Bakir is a Lebanese-Australian entrepreneur from Queensland, Australia. Bakir is the founder and CEO of HomeCorp Group.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bakir was born in Lebanon in 1977.

At the age of 17, Bakir established the mobile phone chain Crazy Ron's in Queensland, Australia.[2]

HomeCorp Group[edit]

Bakir founded HomeCorp Property Group in 2004. HomeCorp is a private urban development company headquartered on the Gold Coast, Queensland. HomeCorp began as a company delivering small home and land projects to Australian property investors and has grown to achieve over $595 million in accumulated sales since launch across 15 projects. The company has been considered successful, despite Australia property development slowing down during the Financial crisis of 2007–08, with Bakir attributing constant growth due to HomeCorp's extensive market research.[3] HomeCorp has delivered projects in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

Bakir was awarded the Gold Coast Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2013[4] for his leadership of the HomeCorp Property Group. The awards are judged by Business News Publications [5] and aims to recognise young business owners operating in the Gold Coast region aged 40 or under.

In 2013, Rockhampton Regional Council approved plans for 950 residential lots in the community currently known as the ‘Pineapple Patch', with HomeCorp announcing a $500 million community in the location.[6]

Association with Schapelle Corby[edit]

Main article: Schapelle Corby

In 2005, Bakir gained attention as Schapelle Corby's "white knight" in helping her with money. The amount of financial support he gave Corby and his exact role in the drug charges against her have never been revealed.[citation needed] Corby's mother said she wished Bakir would "butt out" of Corby's life. Corby's Queen's Counsel (QC) also told Bakir to "zip his lips", saying that his "limited financial advice" did not entitle him to comment on her behalf.[7]

Bakir retained the services of an Australian law firm (Hoolihans) to investigate where the drugs came from. Given the secrecy surrounding the Australian government's decision to fund the Indonesian lawyers defending Corby at the court, many people assumed that Bakir was also paying their fees.[citation needed] In practice, no one knows whether Bakir actually paid Hoolihans or the Indonesian lawyers, although he offered to publicise documentation.[citation needed]

Bakir claims to have no relationship to Corby other than being from the same city. He reportedly decided to help fund Corby's defence because he believed that a miscarriage of justice could occur if she were not properly represented.[8] He pledged A$100,000 towards the A$1,000,000 reward fund, although it is not clear that this money will ever have to be paid (the full reward was never raised).

Before the prosecution announced their sentencing recommendation, Bakir accused the prosecution team (chief prosecutor Ida Bagus Wiswantanu) of seeking a bribe to reduce the requested sentence. The prosecution team and the Indonesian government vehemently denied that this had occurred. Corby's legal team openly admitted their anger at Bakir making these statements before the sentencing recommendation, fearing that it might have encouraged the prosecution to seek a more severe penalty. Corby sacked her main defence lawyer, Lily Lubis, and case coordinator Vasu in July 2005, after Australian lawyer Trowell informed the media that the defence team asked him to request A$500,000 from the Australian government, money meant to bribe the judges of the appeal court.[9]

Bakir registered a company titled Schapelle Corby Pty Ltd, causing some to raise doubts as to his motives. He subsequently deregistered the company. Corby's father also expressed his concerns about the true intentions of Bakir and Corby's mother was quoted as saying "We didn't ask him to come on board, we didn't know him from a bar of soap, and now it seems like he's trying to profit from Schapelle's misery" and "I do think he's got ulterior motives."[7][10][11]

Many creditors of Bakir's previous businesses questioned his ability to fund Corby's defence. Corby's mother maintained that Bakir asked her to pay him back eventually.[12][13]

Corby cut ties with Bakir on 24 June 2005 in a letter. The main reason for this was because Bakir suggested to the media that the judge was wanting a bribe in order for Corby to be set free. His comments allegedly damaged the case.[citation needed] Corby later sacked her lawyers as well as Robin Tampoe due to unrelated issues. By 22 July 2005 Bakir had deregistered both Schapelle Corby Pty Ltd and the schapellecorby.com.au website.[14][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.homecorpgroup.com.au/about-us-nav/ourceo/ HomeCorp Website: Our CEO. Retrieved 11 August 2013
  2. ^ http://www.ronbakir.com/aboutron/
  3. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG0vasNrc5E, retrieved 2015-06-22  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ http://www.goldcoastbusinessnews.com.au/article5766/YOUNG%20ENTREPRENEUR%20OF%20THE%20YEAR%20ANNOUNCED.html
  5. ^ http://www.goldcoastbusinessnews.com.au/gold-coast-young-entrepreneurs.html
  6. ^ "$500m growth plan approved in Rockhampton's Pineapple Patch - TheUrbanDeveloper.com". Retrieved 2015-06-24. 
  7. ^ a b http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,15693602-2,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  8. ^ "FAQs". Ron Bakir. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  9. ^ "Bakir says sorry over Corby bribe claim". Sunday Morning Herald. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "The World Today – Ron Bakir registers Schapelle Corby as company name". Abc.net.au. 17 May 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,15714688-421,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  12. ^ "The Bulletin publishes for the last time". Bulletin.ninemsn.com.au. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "The Bulletin publishes for the last time". Bulletin.ninemsn.com.au. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Bakir cuts all ties with Corby". The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 June 2005. 
  15. ^ http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,16006225%255E662,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]

External links[edit]