‘International conwoman’ scandal rocks The Block
One of the biggest scandals to ever hit Australian reality TV has been unearthed after Channel 9 claimed the winning buyer of The Block 2020 hadn't paid up.
The woman who placed the winning bid on Jimmy and Tam's property at The Block Brighton auctions in November has failed to come through with the money, A Current Affair revealed on Tuesday.
The story described Emese Fajk as an 'International conwoman" and claimed the 28-year-old attempted to cheat the show by presenting receipts of bank transfers indicating the money for the property had gone through.
"Settlement was yesterday and there's been no positive outcome from it... it's something no one ever saw coming," Jimmy told A Current Affair.
"We've pretty much been conned."
Tam added: "She actually cried with us. It was like we knew her as a friend … it's almost like she's tarnished our experience."
So what happens with the prizemoney if the winning bid doesn't pay up? Scott Cam confirmed that according to The Block's own rules, Jimmy and Tam's win still counts.
"Obviously it's disappointing. We trusted her to have that sort of coin," Scott Cam told ACA.
"As per the rules of The Block, the win will stand. They won on the day."
Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Leah Calnan said if a buyer didn't proceed with a purchase after paying a deposit in full, the vendor was entitled to the full deposit.
"And in the event the property has to be resold, if there is any shortfall from what the original contract was to what the second contract is, the vendor can sue the purchaser for the difference," she said.
Ms Calnan noted these occurrences were "not common", but did highlight that registered bidding "should be a consideration for Victoria".
Victoria is one of the few states where there's no requirement for homebuyers to register to bid on a property with the real estate agent selling it, with the rule applying in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.
Furthermore, Channel 9 reportedly reached out to former partner of Ms Fajk, who claimed that she had stolen money from people like him and many others."
Fajk outbid serial Block buyer Danny Wallis to score the Queenslanders' creation for $4.256m. The figure was $966,000 above the $3.29m reserve, leaving Jimmy and Tam with $1.066m in prize money.
- additional reporting with Samantha Landy
Originally published as 'International conwoman' scandal rocks The Block