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PERTH, Australia - The jury in the Lenards Chicken franchise murder trial has brought back a verdict of ‘guilty of murder' for the leader of the sub-franchisor (aka master franchisee) for Western Australia.
‘Heijne, 45, faces a minimum 10-year sentence after a Supreme Court jury found him guilty of murdering Frank Ciancosi, 55, a co-owner with Heijne of the WA Lenard's chicken master franchise.'The West
Heijne was by far the worst but Lenards franchisees are quick to remind that while the level of physical threat that accompanied his control is unequaled in Australia; the operation of Lenards' sub-franchisors throughout the country has been the subject of serious complaint for more than 5 years where identical strategies were implemented to force franchisees to capitulate to constants of minimal profit followed by substantial loss and then franchisee total failure to feed the franchisor income streams.
Heijne stands out because his methods of controlling complaining franchisees were simply out of control - and he murdered his gay lover.
Lenards Chicken franchisees in West Australia have been dominated by a ruthless Gerardus Heijne as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission looked on. Lenards operates throughout Australia with a small group of master franchisees controlling each state where Lenard Poulter is the Australian franchisor.
Amidst growing intervention by individual politicians and criticism of the ACCC, Lenards took a new direction in 2008 targeting the establishment of franchises within the MetCash IGA chain of supermarkets. Franchisees suggest this was designed to distract from a heightened awareness of Lenards Chicken franchisee complaints following the Federal Inquiry into franchising. The ACCC and Lenard Poulter corresponded for over 5 years where Poulter defended the master franchisees who fed his massive fortune. The ACCC found no complaint that could be pursued. Nothing much has changed at Lenards.
I recently received an email suggesting my ‘assertions of government corruption are over the top'. My response was to the point; ‘what has happened - when did it change?' Senior politicians won't admit it but abide by the philosophy that ‘it is as it should be; as it has always been and as it always will be'. Heijne's ability to last as long as he did represents the truth of much of Australian franchising - corruption and confidentiality. Money is power - there is more short-term money in rogue franchising - you can buy tolerant government with more money.