High school formals rip-off: Sammy Em’s sister fined

High school formals rip-off: Sammy Em’s sister fined

Nick Ralston
Published: July 27, 2012 – 4:55PM

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The director of an events company that collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from students for high-school formals has been fined $500.

Amrita Kerr, 25, was the sole director of Your Formal Australia but her solicitor today told Parramatta Local Court she had nothing to do with the business, which was run day to day by her now estranged brother Sameer Kapoor, otherwise known as DJ Sammy Em.

The court was told Kerr was pressured to sign the documents to become director by her brother as well as her mother with whom she was living at the time.

Hundreds of students from prominent high schools such as Mosman High School, Monte Sant’ Angelo, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College and PLC Croydon said they were ripped off after booking and paying for formals online through the company late last year.

Kerr has said that she only found out about the cancelled formals through media coverage.

She appeared in court today charged with the offence of refuse or fail to comply with a substantiation notice within the compliance period.

It relates to her failure to respond to the Fair Trading Department after it wrote to her asking her to prove her company could offer consumers what it promised on its brochure and website.

Kerr pleaded guilty to the offence and was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $383 in other costs.

Prosecutors had wanted Kerr to pay the maximum penalty of $3300.

Magistrate Jennifer Betts said Kerr’s action just could not be tolerated and she would be impacted by her involvement in the company for years to come.

“Customers have to be protected,” she said. “The buck stops with you … the fall-out from what happened is going to be with you for some time.”

In a reference tendered to the court, Kerr’s father said his daughter felt she had no choice but to do what her mother and brother said.

He said his daughter was now living with him and away from their influence.

“She is the innocent victim of a very controlling family environments [sic] and I’m extremely grateful that she has left to come and live with me and my wife,” he wrote.

In her own letter, tendered before the court, Kerr said she was seeking counselling to deal with the torment suffered from her mother and brother.

“I am much happier now that I have left my abusive environment and I am being supported,” she wrote.

She refused to speak as she left the court. Kerr, who now works as a personal assistant, has also filed for bankruptcy and it is understood civil proceedings against her are also under way.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/high-school-formals-ripoff–sammy-ems-sister-fined-20120727-22yp7.html

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