Australian real estate agents


A contentious legal battle surrounding a parcel of land on the Āwhitu Peninsula has led to both parties involved declaring bankruptcy, with substantial debts owed to creditors.

The allegation is that real estate agent Ian Croft had schemed to unlawfully purchase his client’s property with intentions to resell it at a considerable profit margin. Glenn Cooper, the client, has a controversial history himself, having been assaulted by a well-known rugby player after engaging in fraudulent activities with their family.

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The dispute also revolves around claims that Croft may have tampered with the land, hindering Cooper’s development plans. When a real estate agent purportedly engages in clandestine dealings with a convicted fraudster client, the outcome is detrimental for all parties involved.

In the Franklin ward of Auckland, a developer and a real estate firm have both been forced into liquidation, owing substantial sums to creditors following an extensive legal confrontation that reached the Court of Appeal.

Glenn William Cooper of Goldline Properties Limited had initiated the subdivision of a wooded area on Āwhitu Central Road and had enlisted the services of real estate agent Ian Croft from Counties Realty to handle the sale of the newly divided properties.

Cooper had entered into an agreement with local resident Maree Dawn Marsh to sell her four out of the five lots. However, it came to light that Croft had also struck a deal with Marsh to resell the land at a significant markup, with him receiving a cut of the profits.


Ian Croft said the dispute had cost him his business after 15 years of being a real estate agent.

The heart of the conflict lay in a large parcel of wooded land on the Āwhitu Peninsula, which had been divided into five lots. Under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, agents are prohibited from purchasing a client’s property without explicit consent and an independent valuation.

Cooper later discovered that Croft and Marsh had arranged to sell each lot with a substantial markup, potentially netting around $800,000. Despite his attempts to cancel contracts with Marsh, it initiated a costly legal battle.

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Croft, however, claimed that Cooper had prior knowledge of his arrangement with Marsh and only terminated the agreement to capitalize on improvements made to the land, such as fences and houses.

Cooper, previously convicted and sentenced for fraudulent activities, alleged that the legal dispute had devastated his property investment business. His claims to the liquidators included accusations of Croft causing damage to native forest on the property, necessitating costly remediation efforts before titles could be issued.


Glenn Cooper alleged that Ian Croft had taken to the lots with earth moving equipment, destroying native bush.

The court proceedings escalated to the High Court, where Cooper sought to annul contracts with Marsh, citing Croft’s involvement in the property. The court ruling highlighted discrepancies in whether Croft had disclosed his interests to Goldline, but ultimately, Cooper’s bid was rejected.

However, the case was appealed to the Court of Appeal, which overturned the decision, nullified Marsh’s caveats, and instructed her to cover Cooper’s legal fees.

The aftermath of the dispute saw Goldline and Croft’s company, Counties Realty, both declaring bankruptcy, with substantial debts attributed to the contested transaction, as per the reports by the liquidators.