Real estate agent and his two nephews charged over Bulleen park brawl

A Melbourne real estate agent who specialises in selling undeveloped land on the city’s urban fringe has been charged with serious assault alongside two employees after a brawl involving up to 15 men in a park.

Manpreet Dandiwal, 39, the founder and managing director of PSP Property Group, has made a name for himself selling large, undeveloped, subdividable lots in Melbourne’s suburban growth corridors.

No one can compete with us: Manpreet DandiwalCredit:Eamon Gallagher

The Toorak-based agent’s motto is “everything I touch turns to sold”, and his company boasts of negotiating more than $3 billion in sales.

Mr Dandiwal and two employees of the company – who are also his nephews – were charged by police after they were allegedly involved in a fight in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs on September 1.

Mr Dandiwal and fellow PSP Property employees Yuvraj Singh Virk and Anmol Singh Chahal, both in their 20s, were charged by detectives following the alleged affray at a park in Bulleen.

Police attended the Bulleen Road park about 11.50am and found about 10 to 15 men fighting, a spokesman said.

The three men, all from Toorak, were charged with serious assault and bailed to appear at Heidelberg Magistrates Court on February 4. A court spokeswoman said the matter involved assault and injury-related offences.

At the time of the alleged park brawl, COVID-19 restrictions prevented any gatherings, either indoors or out.

Sources with knowledge of Mr Dandiwal’s business affairs, but who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions, said the fight stemmed from a long-running financial dispute between the real estate agent and some former employees.

Mr Dandiwal said he would fight the charges.

“I vigorously deny all of the allegations against me and will vigorously defend those charges,” he told The Age.

“My previous employees initiated the altercation against myself and the other two gentleman [sic] who are my nephews, as well the other people that were there that day.

“I am bitterly disappointed and shocked that myself and my nephews were the only ones charged. My lawyers are currently looking into the matter with the Victoria Police as all we did was defend ourselves as I was assaulted first.

“For the record they are disgruntled former employees and I am the affected party in this matter as they have tried to intimidate and threaten me as they owe me money.”

Mr Virk, a transaction adviser at PSP Property, and Mr Chahal, a sales executive at the company, did not respond to a request for comment.

PSP Property was started by Mr Dandiwal in 2018.

On its website, PSP Property is described as “Victoria’s premier full-service property agency” boasting the successful negotiation of more than $3 billion in sales. In 2019, The Australian Financial Review reported that Mr Dandiwal could be one of the “biggest beneficiaries of Melbourne’s recent boom in land prices”.

Last year, Mr Dandiwal was engaged in a legal battle against several former employees, including one who set up a rival real estate business on Melbourne’s western fringe.

Supreme Court of Victoria records show Mr Dandiwal in May, 2020 sought to take out an injunction against his former employees to prevent them from using the contact details of potential clients he claimed were gained during their employment with him.

He swore their use of the contacts could cause his business “irreparable harm”.

Mr Dandiwal claimed in an affidavit that the former employees had forwarded client details to external email addresses or, in one case, downloaded his contact database. He claimed this was a breach of confidentiality agreements they had signed when accepting employment with him.

While accepting Mr Dandiwal had received confidentiality undertakings from the former employees, associate judge Mary-Jane Ierodiaconou refused his application for an injunction.

“Contact information is not confidential in the age of the internet. The plaintiff mistakenly regards it [Mr Dandiwal’s company] has a proprietary interest in the contact information gathered. No injunction should be permitted to restraining mere knowledge or know-how,” she found.

“There is no evidence whatsoever of any misuse of confidential information. There is evidence that the defendants have in their possession part of a database that they produced for the purpose of contacting customers, but there is no evidence of any breach of their confidential information obligations.

“The information was sent by the defendants to themselves while in the employ of the plaintiff for the purpose of doing their work. Those emails were sent many months, and in some cases more than a year, before the termination of employment … there is no evidence that at the time those emails were sent there was any intent to use the emails for any purpose not permitted under their employment contracts.”

It is not known if any of the former employees involved in the legal dispute were present at the Bulleen fight in September.

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