O’Loughlin’s Lawyers senior associate Michael Connelly told SMSF Adviser he is working with the administrators of two collapsed Charterhill entities, together with ASIC, to locate SMSF property investor deposits that have vanished.
“It is still very early days and we are trying to work closely with the administrators and ASIC, who are taking a keen interest in this, to get to the bottom of where investors’ funds have gone,” Mr Connelly said.
“We are not having much luck at the moment,” he added.
Mr Connelly is advising investors involved with Nova Real Estate Proprietary Limited and Lending Solutions, two of the four collapsed entities.
On 24 January, SMSF Adviser reported that Heard Phillips Accountants had been appointed as administrators of Nova Real Estate Proprietary Limited and liquidators for Lending Solutions – two Charterhill entities.
Mr Connelly went on to explain the structure of Charterhill Group, through which investors were “invited” to set up SMSFs.
“Investors were then given the opportunity to invest those funds into property and buildings through other Charterhill entities,” he said, adding that investor deposits for property investments have gone missing in the last year.
“In the last eight to 12 months, a number of the deposits have been made by investors on the understanding that they were going towards one of these property investments but for whatever reason those deposits never made it to their intended destination – to the vendor, developer or builder,” he said.
“As a result, a number of the investors we have spoken to have lost their deposits into the ether, if you like.
“There are certainly some pretty dire situations out there as a result of what has transpired.”
Investors are meeting with the administrators today. SMSF Adviser has contacted ASIC for comment.
More to come.