Business closure causes blind anger
HOMEOWNERS have been left with empty wallets and broken promises after Warwick Awnings and Blinds owner Mark Lawler allegedly took deposits and is yet to complete the work.
After obtaining a number of documents the Daily News can confirm the business, operating under Lawfree Pty Ltd, has gone into liquidation.
Having racked up $140,000 in liabilities, Mr Lawler has 52 creditors to answer to, among them pensioners, families and businesses.
One retired couple say they have kissed goodbye $880 in March this year as a deposit for their new patio roof.
"We had it all measured up and he said he would go straight back and draw up a new agreement and then send through a receipt for the deposit," the Warwick resident, who wished to remain unnamed, said.
"When we hadn't heard anything and we couldn't get a hold of him, we went down to the office and found the liquidators clearing his place out.
"We've been trying to find him ever since."
With a changed phone number and disconnected landline, Mr Lawler is no easy man to get a hold of.
When the Daily News contacted Mr Lawler on his new phone number, he failed to return our calls.
"When we went and talked to the liquidators clearing out his stuff, I told him I was looking for Mark and he said 'you're the ninth bloke I've had looking for him'," the Warwick resident said.
He said the deposit was to kick start a $4,400 job, and now he is $880 out of pocket and without a roof over his patio.
"I know it's not a fortune, but when you're on a pension it does hurt," he said.
"He was a really nice and caring bloke and so we trusted him.
"Now we've had to seek legal aid and they've told us we might as well kiss our money goodbye."
Mr Lawler owes $105,678 to trade creditors, being businesses and private customers, $2,600 to employees, $20,000 to the tax office and $12,000 in financial shortfalls.
Twenty-two of those 52 creditors owed money are Southern Downs businesses and customers.
"It's the first time I've ever been taken down and admittedly I gave him the money but he said was going straight back to draw up plans," the Warwick resident said.
"I know now not to trust anybody."
While the Warwick Awnings and Blinds showroom on Percy St remains empty and dormant, the Daily News has been given reports of Mr Lawler purchasing supplies locally in the past couple of weeks.
If you are owed money by Mark Lawler, send an email through to reporter email@example.com or phone 4660 1316.
- Mark Lawler took over Warwick Awnings and Blinds in June 2011.
- Liquidators moved in on April 15-18, 2013.
- The firm handling the liquidation is Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants.