Business Analysis

Dominique Grubisa doubles down despite fraud allegations

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Self-professed property maven Dominique Grubisa is still preying on the desperate and disadvantaged (Screenshot via YouTube)

Dominique Grubisa continues down the path of her mentor, former U.S. President Donald Trump, doubling down... down, down, deeper and down, as David Donovan reports.

A COMMON THEME in stories about Donald Trump is how he doubles down

As Todd Stewart (writing in the Orlando Sentinel) commented in an article in 2017:

‘From the start of his candidacy and continuing through his presidency, the phrase “doubles down” has become so commonplace for pundits weighing in on President Trump's actions, tweets or policies.’

We can say the same about Dominique Grubisa.

As we reported in our first article about Grubisa in August 2020, Grubisa’s parents were struck off as lawyers for (amongst other things) misappropriating money from their clients — her father on 11 September 2012 and her mother on 5 June 2013. Two weeks after her mother was struck off, Grubisa set up a company, RER Lawyers Pty Ltd, with herself and solicitor James Lyons as directors.    

As reported in the Australian Financial Review, Mr Lyons said he knew nothing of the company. Yet his name appeared as principal of the firm on letterhead provided to a client of the firm. The date of birth and address for Mr Lyons used on the document lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to incorporate the company do not match documents for other companies of which Mr Lyons was a director.

Grubisa resigned as a director of RER Lawyers on 21 August 2013 and was replaced by her husband, Kevin. Kevin is the sole director of Capital Mortgage Group, the finance business formerly known as DGI Finance.    

This company holds a credit licence issued by ASIC and has applied for a variation of its credit licence to allow it to engage in debt management services. At the time of writing, the company is the only one with an existing credit licence whose application is still under assessment by ASIC. We can’t think why that might be the case!

As we have reported, Grubisa’s parents were giving legal advice to Grubisa’s “students” for years after being struck off, with them using an email account containing the name of Mr Lyons' law firm. Seems nothing out of the ordinary for this family. The Daily Telegraph reported back in 2006 that solicitor Christopher Fitzsimons had been found in contempt of court by the NSW Supreme Court for practising law whilst suspended.

Grubisa and her parents clearly doubled down after the parents were struck off.

In July we reported that Grubisa was still spruiking asset protection webinars after she ceased to hold a practising certificate as a lawyer. Following that article, the website for Grubisa’s business, DG Institute, was updated to remove her Master Wealth Control program as a product on the site. The latest incarnation of her asset protection webinar, at that time called Asset Armour, remained on the site but became password protected.

After a 3-month hiatus, Grubisa is back promoting her asset protection program with the DG Institute website advertising the sale of the Master Wealth Control program once again. And on Saturday, Grubisa was hosting a webinar promoting the program.

Again, Grubisa doubles down despite all the media stories raising concerns about her claims.

More importantly, IA is aware that numerous complaints were made to legal regulators about Mrs Grubisa’s asset protection claims as far back as April 2019. And yet she is still out there selling the same nonsense to the public. Given she was banned from credit/financial services by ASIC and no longer has a practising certificate as a lawyer, in what capacity is Grubisa doing this?  

At the same time, Grubisa is still promoting her Real Estate Rescue program, with the DG Institute website still referring to the company’s ‘World First Artificial Intelligence Software’ and showing a screenshot of Domain Group’s Pricefinder service. 

This is after we reported the software is that of Archistar, that Archistar had severed ties with Grubisa’s company and Domain stated it has no direct or indirect relationship with DG Institute. The page also references a course manual which as we reported has been largely plagiarised from a 2009 book by Chip Cummings.

But Grubisa is quite open about the fact she doubles down.  

In the Asset Armour webinar, Grubisa encouraged her students not to trust “the system”, telling people they should not believe that others will have their back.

Grubisa said [IA emphasis]:

“I’ve been let down over and over again in my life by believing that if you just work hard enough, if you just risk hard enough, if you’re passionate enough, if you believe enough, then everything will work out and it’s not enough. I doubled down, put everything on the black.”

Grubisa is talking about her disappointment in not being accepted into NIDA (the National Institute of Dramatic Arts). As we reported in our first story about Grubisa, she failed to be accepted into NIDA with someone Grubisa described as an “unkempt, hippy-looking, skinny girl” (Cate Blanchett) making it through.

Grubisa likes to play the story of how she lost everything in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.

In an email promoting her latest asset protection webinar headed ‘I have lost everything’ Grubisa doubles down on this back story claiming:

‘The last time we had an economic shock I was unprepared and lost everything. I lost the family home. I lost my eight-figure property portfolio. I became homeless.’

Let’s compare that claim to what Grubisa said in a podcast with Phil Tarrant from The Smart Property Investment Show. Phil is the co-founder and director of Momentum Media, the same company that publishes My Business and shortlisted Grubisa as a “Businesswoman of the Year Finalist” in 2019. The logo of that award features alongside the two Stevie Awards which have since been stripped from her but have not been removed from her website.

In the podcast [at 12 minutes, 45 seconds in], Tarrant asks Grubisa how many properties she had in her portfolio when she ran into financial difficulty. 

Grubisa answers:

“We had about 20, we may have, at rock bottom, whittled it down to about ten.”

Tarrant responds:

“Mmm, okay, a lot of people would still think that’s a big portfolio for someone to be at rock bottom.”

Grubisa’s current residence hasn’t been sold since 2004, so we are not sure what she is talking about regarding losing the family home.

As we reported in February last year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been aware since at least April 2018 that Grubisa’s claims regarding superannuation were false. The ATO is very much aware that Grubisa has continued to claim she can protect people’s superannuation. 

Grubisa continues on her way, doubling down. She loves to challenge the status quo — it being a core value of her business.  

Having to address the scores of media stories, Grubisa tells those who turn up to her webinars and seminars that she is sustained and emboldened by the (completely misquoted) words of Mahatma Gandhi:

‘First they ignore you.

Then they laugh at you.

Then they fight you.

Then you win.’

(Source: Vimeo)

And unsurprisingly, as Dan Evon from Snopes.com said, this quote misattributed to Gandhi started recirculating online after being tweeted by no other than Grubisa’s mentor, Donald Trump.

We think in terms of a connection between the “status quo” and Grubisa’s comments, a more apt connection is the words of the band Status Quo in their 1974 hit, Down Down:

“I want all the world to see,
To see you're laughing and you're laughing at me,
I can take it all from you,
Again, again, again, again,
Again, again, again and deeper and down.”

We are not laughing at Grubisa. We are concerned that she continues to flog her programs using property data and personal information to seek out people in financial/relationship distress and telling people their assets are protected in the face of others (such as ARITA and other legal practitioners) saying these claims are false.

Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos fame had a slightly different take on the three stages of truth (misquote) when speaking to Jim Cramer on his Mad Money program on CNBC, the day after the exposé on Theranos by twice Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John Carryrou in the Wall Street Journal.

Holmes said:

“First they think you’re crazy, then they fight you, then you change the world.”

More about the remarkable parallels between Grubisa and Elizabeth Holmes in future stories.

In the meantime, as for Grubisa, we can’t put it better than Carolyn Bond AO.

(Source: Twitter)

Follow IA founder David G Donovan on Twitter @davrosz. Also, follow Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus, on Facebook HERE and on Instagram HERE.

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