He calls himself an advocate, charges for advice on fines and council rates and makes incredible claims about his success in courtrooms around Australia.
But Derek Balogh — who was briefly jailed in 2008 after refusing to vacate his home despite a court order — has left a trail of failed cases in his wake.
Mr Balogh offers support in court and Fair Work Commission hearings and charges up to $1,497 for access to his teachings.
The Melbourne man claims agencies like the police and courts have been secretly turned into businesses and such entities now exist only to make money. He runs regular online classes, sometimes attended by dozens of people, where he teaches that elections and mortgages are invalid.
University of Technology Sydney legal expert Harry Hobbs described the advice given by Mr Balogh in his paid meetings as “false hope”.
“People who are struggling get enticed into his orbit and end up worse off,” Dr Hobbs said.
“There is no magic wand or magic get-out-of-jail-free card that allows you to avoid the ordinary laws of the land.”
Sydney-based solicitor Samir Banga has been contacted for legal support by people who have followed Mr Balogh’s unqualified guidance.
“Some might not pay a few council rates and go, ‘Oh shit, I better pay,’ and some pull away after they learn, but the negative consequences could be as small as mispayments of interest, as negative as losing their houses,” Mr Banga said.
Mr Balogh tells his members that he has had many successes, but he did not provide examples when asked by 7.30.
7.30 spoke with eight people who have engaged Mr Balogh for various purposes, and examined published court, tribunal and Fair Work Commission findings