One of Australia’s most glamorous suburbs has been rocked by a fraud case that has left a young entrepreneur facing serious charges.
When young entrepreneur Brendon Mrzyk opened a florist in Double Bay in the middle of the Covid pandemic, locals of the affluent, tight-knit Sydney suburb rushed to support him.
But less than two years later, the 25-year-old is facing serious charges after local business owners accused him of making unauthorised charges on their credit cards.
One of those business owners is real estate agent Renata Biller, who told police the firm had discovered what they believed to be “odd” transactions for phone bills, companies that charge for Instagram “likes” and even Uber Eats deliveries.
The business was ultimately reimbursed by the bank after flagging the unusual transactions, but Ms Biller said she wanted to speak out to raise awareness, and to highlight the fact that some staff members had allegedly not been paid by Mrzyk.
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Ms Biller said that at first, she’d had a good professional relationship with the Tasmanian, although there were early red flags.
“He called one day and said he needed a promotion boost and would I mind if he did a display in our Potts Point office … I asked what it would cost me and he said it would be out of his pocket, he just wanted to use the space. Then I got a $500 invoice for it,” she claimed to news.com.au.
“Stupidly, I paid it because at the time I thought my reputation was more important, and I didn’t want it to be spread around Double Bay that I don’t pay my bills. I felt uncomfortable.
“Early on he just seemed like a nice young guy with a new business in the area we wanted to try and support.”
Ms Biller said she is aware of similar alleged encounters with Mrzyk.
“We all know each other… it didn’t take long for word to spread,” she said.
“A lot of people relied him and there’s delivery drivers and growers that are severely out of pocket. We are a village community of business owners and we all trust each other.
Ms Biller said ultimately, the “saddest thing” was that some people allegedly remained out of pocket.
“Some people really need the money and the only reason I’m speaking up is because I don’t want people dealing with him,” she said.
“Some people can’t afford to be without days of pay and it’s really wrong.”
When contacted by news.com.au, Mrzyk said he had been “better”, but declined to provide a further statement.
The young florist denied owing money to couriers and claimed he never kept credit cards on file when contacted by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I’ve been in business more than five years now,” he told Daily Mail Australia in a statement.
“I’m a good person, and always have been. I always put people first and was generous at the best of times and the right people who know me, know that.
“Everyone makes mistakes. I have a very successful business and we will continue to rise above this. I have a beautiful team of staff and we are about to open a new premises.”
NSW police told news.com.au they were unable to comment further as the matter is before the courts, but confirmed that a 25-year-old man was charged in November 2021 with dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception following an investigation by Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command.
Just months earlier, Mrzyk’s name had been included in a list of Tasmania’s public debtors, which revealed he owed $9905.
Mrzyk is next due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on August 25, 2022.