JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Love lies duped widower of $680,000

Date

A NEW ZEALAND man is unlikely to see a single cent of the $683,145 he paid to an Australian dating agency in the hope of finding a partner.

Alan Young, a former financial planner, is destitute and living with his daughter after falling victim to True Love Corp.

The NSW Supreme Court has ordered the firm's directors to pay back the $683,145 to Mr Young.

However, the company directors are bankrupt and their victims are unlikely to get their money back.

Mr Young, who lived in Westown, New Plymouth, retired from the Taranaki Regional Council in September.

His daughter, Jo, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, said what happened to her father had changed their whole lives.

''All of his shares and his life savings and house [are gone] and he came to live with me.

''My mum had cancer. She had just died and they [True Love Corp] took someone who was really vulnerable.''

Mr Young's situation was revealed in a court action against True Love Corp. He signed up with the dating agency in 2006 after he answered an advertisement in the personal columns of the Taranaki Daily News following the death of his wife.

Mr Young and 10 others have since complained to the NSW Fair Trading Commission, which successfully took action against the dating agency.

In November, the NSW Supreme Court ruled that former True Love bosses husband and wife Zivko and Helen Dimitrijevski must pay compensation of $1,123,095 to the vulnerable clients they exploited.

Hollie Veall, a former True Love co-director, was ordered to pay $342,050.

Mr Young knew Ms Veall as Angie Jovic and believed they were engaged after she accepted his marriage proposal in January 2007.

He paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars after she promised she would repay the money.

Jovic used family illness or disputes as excuses for cancelling a meeting with him in Melbourne.

He spent more than $400,000 assisting Jovic, including borrowing $120,000 from his mother, who has since died.

When Mr Young flew to the Gold Coast to meet Jovic, he found her appearance and personality different. She blamed stress from a family dispute.

In 2008, Jovic met Mr Young in New Zealand but insisted on separate bedrooms as she had ''promised my dear departed mother that I would not have sex until I married you''.

The same year he went to Brisbane to marry her but he was told she had gone to Melbourne to see her lawyer. When Mr Young flew to Melbourne, he got a phone call from Jovic telling him she was flying to the United States where her daughter had been in a car accident.

When he contacted True Love Corp, he recognised the voice of the woman who answered the phone as Jovic's, but she said she was Hollie Veall, a director of True Love.

The NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe, described True Love's conduct as despicable in that the directors targeted lonely and vulnerable people. ''These people put their trust in a company which took advantage of their vulnerable situation and milked them for every dollar they could get, leaving them destitute and dateless.''

Mr Stowe said he hoped other ruthless operators in the dating game would take note of the court's landmark decision.

Fairfax NZ News

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo