21-year-old former radio DJ Dene Broadbelt, known also as Harrison O’Connor, has admitted to having “ripped off” people while also denying that he is a conman.
Broadbelt, who now legally goes by the name Harrison O’Connor, has been the subject of various reports over the last few years, covering a string of alleged scams and unpaid debts across various industries in Australia, including several ventures in the music industry.
Speaking to Music Feeds, O’Connor admitted to having “ripped off” people in his past and claims to be doing all he can to “rebuild that trust” with people after the mistakes he has made. He says he deserves a second chance.
“I’ve done what I can. I’ve said sorry to creditors, I’ve said sorry to the majority of the people I’ve ripped off and several people from my trustee as well,” O’Connor said. “I’ve changed my name, I’ve declared myself bankrupt.”
O’Connor declared himself bankrupt in October 2014. At the time he was in debt of $250,000. “That’s why I declared bankruptcy because I can’t afford to pay these people back.”
Noel Sadler, a member of the Dene Broadbelt Support Group for victims, confirmed to Music Feeds that he received notice of O’Connor’s bankruptcy, but was never on the receiving end of any kind of apology. “Never. I’m not aware of anybody who’s had an apology from him at any time at all,” he said.
“Even before he declared bankruptcy we knew we wouldn’t get any money, simply because he doesn’t have any,” he added. “We’re fully aware he has no assets, we’re aware he has no money at all and then of course once you declare bankruptcy well then you don’t have a course of action to pursue.”
Last year O’Connor, then Dene Broadbelt, was implicated as the man responsible for the “scam” Infinity Music Festival in Darwin. Reports at the time said the festival collapsed after Broadbelt’s past business associates claimed he owed them thousands of dollars.
O’Connor tells Music Feeds he never incurred any debts in relation to the Infinity Music Festival and all ticket proceeds were refunded to festival goers, Music Feeds couldn’t verify this but did speak to the festival’s former publicist who said even he was brought on by O’Connor to do some work for the festival and was never paid.
In a similar fashion, O’Connor claims the Sydney-based booking and touring agency he set up last year, Paramount Agency & Touring, collapsed because of the statements made by the Facebook support group. He said the mistakes he made were “creditor-related” and denied ever having “ripped off” artists on his roster. He hopes to one day get back into the entertainment industry.
He also denied being involved in a statement that was sent around to media outlets recently announcing his apparent suicide and said he has enlisted the help of a “defamation specialist” who is working on his behalf to remove allegedly defamatory content about him from search engines as well as social media platforms and various websites.
When we asked O’Connor where the funds for this pursuit to clear his name will be found, given his aforementioned bankruptcy, he said his family will be covering the cost of the barrister and he himself would bear the costs of the defamation specialist.
When pressed if he had considered using this money he now has at his disposal to instead pay back his debts he said no, “Because in reality…if I pay some back, all of them will want payment.” He chooses to focus on removing content about himself from the web.
He said he had intentions to pay creditors back via a debt agreement but “the fools keep emailing my employers and causing me to get terminated.” Noel Sadler denies any allegation that the Facebook group have some kind of set agenda to pursue Mr Broadbelt or seek out his potential employers.
“What Mr Broadbelt is doing these days is playing the victim’s game,” he added, “and the only victims out there are the hundreds of victims that he’s scammed over the last two years.”