EXCLUSIVE: He’s back! Fallen queer magazine tycoon, Mark Christopher Anthony, is back to his alleged shady best. He’s once again flouting the law and doing what he loves most: sending lousy legal letters in a bid to shake down suburban businesses on behalf of a media empire that no longer exists and one from which he is banned from associating with in any case.
With large sections of the queer community in Sydney turning its back on the disgraced media magnate, it looks like the failed Evo Media director – who once owned SX magazine and the popular Gay News Network and SameSame websites – has briefly emerged from the bosoms of his mother’s $2 million Potts Point apartment to recast his lens further afield for potential financial opportunities.
Mr Anthony’s media empire came burning down last April following a series of exclusive investigations by True Crime News Weekly which unveiled long running frauds, rorts and scams perpetrated by Evo Media and its predecessor, Evolution Publishing, going back over a decade. The companies were operated by Mr Anthony and his recently departed romantic partner, Dean Anthony Bell, who now works as a delivery driver for a meat company in south Sydney following the demise of Evo Media.
After allegedly ripping off a litany of government-funded organisations for over a decade, it seems Mr Anthony has had to lower his targets somewhat following his decline in fortunes last year. Now in the sights of his alleged corporate scams and shonky financial rip-offs are suburban dental clinics and male-only beauty salons operated by gay businessmen in Melbourne. The businesses were once small advertisers in MCV – a free Melbourne street magazine targeting the queer community and published by Evo Media.
WATCH TRUE CRIME NEWS WEEKLY CONFRONT EVO MEDIA DIRECTOR MARK ANTHONY
Befitting this long-running corporate tale of woe and desperation, True Crime News Weekly can now report that despite a ban placed on him until 2020 by business authorities, Mr Anthony just a few weeks back in mid-January sent a number of serious sounding legal threats while purporting to represent Evo Media
On company letterheard, Mr Anthony wrote to a variety of businesses in Melbourne in a deceitful attempt to shakedown measly amounts of cash – literally, just a thousand dollars or so – that he claims is owed to him and his media company.
“Attached is a copy of a Statement of Claim to be filed in the NSW Local Court if payment not received by COB Monday 15 January 2018,” Mr Anthony wrote in an email on January 12 to a dental clinic in north Melbourne which had taken out an ad package last year.
The one small detail that Mr Anthony keeps on omitting in his legal threats is that his company is in ruins and essentially no longer exists and that he furthermore has been banned from acting as a management representative for Evo Media, or indeed any company, for two years.
Despite his best attempts at playing clever legal games, Mr Anthony was informed by the practice manager of the dental clinic that they would not succumb to his deceptive threats and that it was his media company, in any case, which owed money.
“To my knowledge, the April edition of your publication was never actually delivered out to the outlets – due to your internal financial issues. We have certainly never had any delivered, and never received any tearsheets,” the practice manager wrote in a reply to Mr Anthony on January 12.
“[The invoice] was for 6 months of advertising at $330 per month – and was paid in full at the time of processing this booking.
“Therefore, you actually owe us money. We are happy to have the matter referred to our bank to create a chargeback for the payment of $1990 for goods not delivered as per the contract.
“I look forward to hearing back from you by email in regard to this matter, such that we can have this forwarded to our lawyers, and to our bank, fur further action to reclaim the funds owed to us.”
Mr Anthony has also sent similar threats to a male waxing salon for similar paltry amounts. The proprietors of that business have also refused to succumb to Mr Anthony’s bizarre demands.
“It’s just another desperate attempt to blackmail people into paying,” the practice manager of the dental clinic told True Crime News Weekly.
“He is desperate – and just using the threat of a court lodgement to bully people into paying. As he knows he can’t actually follow it up … They really are nasty people.”
In June last year, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) placed a disqualification order on the failed businessman from managing any sort of company until 2020.
“YOU ARE DISQUALIFIED from the time of service of this notice for a period of TWO years and SIX months from managing corporations without the leave of ASIC,” the order states.
At the time, the financial regulator told Mr Anthony that it would like to have his “attention … specifically drawn to section 206A of the Corporations Act 2011″.
The section lists the prohibitions placed on Mr Anthony which prevent him to “make, or participate in making, decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the business of the corporation”.
ASIC has been made aware of Mr Anthony’s latest activities and his attempts to pass himself off as a fit and proper representative of Evo Media.
As well as sending his petty threats to dentists and others, True Crime News Weeklyhas learnt that Mr Anthony has also been sending demanding threats for money to Junkee Media co-founder Tim Duggan. Junkee Media got itself involved in Mr Anthony’s mess after agreeing to sell its SameSame website property to Evo Media in September 2015. A source says Mr Duggan has received letters in recent weeks from Mr Anthony threatening court action if a sum of money isn’t transferred to him.
While Mr Anthony has been trying his hands at a few last alleged scams, True Crime News Weekly understands that a variety of landlords and creditors remain on the onetime media high-flier’s tail. There are also rumours of a possible bankruptcy case to be launched against Mr Anthony, who is alleged to have left a trail of debt and anger across some of Sydney’s more exclusive climes while also allegedly ripping off a lot of ‘mum-and-dad’ style small businesses.
Mr Anthony’s sly reemergence from the shadows of his mother’s Potts Point apartment comes as the Federal Governmentannounced a new suite of measures that could see similar dodgy bosses serving prison time for up to 12 months for skipping out on their employees’ superannuation payments.
Mr Anthony and Mr Bell are alleged to have stolen or misused hundreds of thousands of dollars while directors of Evo Media and Evolution Publishing, instead of appropriately paying their employees’ wages and superannuation.
From 1 July this year, the ATO will require super funds to commence and conduct event-based reporting while the government will also be introducing a Director Identification Number (DIN) – a move which has upset the “business community”, according to the My Business publication.
“Combined, these measures provide the ATO with more timely information to support earlier detection and proactive prevention of non-payment of superannuation that is rightfully owed to employees,” Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said.
“The government’s commitment to a Director Identification Number will help identify those directors who are robbing their employees of their superannuation.”
Mr Anthony did not respond to requests for comment when contacted by True Crime News Weekly.