Following an application by ASIC, the Federal Court in Adelaide yesterday froze all assets owned or otherwise held by the founder of the Charterhill group of companies, George Nowak, and his wife, Betty Nowak.
This follows Mr Nowak's apology for the “shock closure of our entire group by receivers and external administrators”.
In a statement released today, ASIC notes: “The court also ordered the surrender of Mr and Mrs Nowak's passports and restrained their travel out of Australia, as ASIC investigates the collapse of the Charterhill group, which specialises in assisting clients to invest in property through self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).”
“ASIC's application was brought under section 1323 of the Corporations Act 2001 and followed steps taken by ASIC last week to secure Mr Nowak's passport by agreement and to obtain an undertaking from him that he would not dispose of or otherwise deal with any assets.”
The following companies in the Charterhill Group have been placed under external control:
• Lending Solutions International Pty Ltd – liquidators appointed (Andrew Heard and Anthony Phillips of Heard Phillips)
• Nova Real Estate Pty Ltd – external administrators appointed (Andrew Heard and Anthony Phillips of Heard Phillips)
• EJ Property Developments Pty Ltd – receivers and managers appointed (Michael Basedow and Leigh Prior of Pitcher Partners)
• Financial Wellness Pty Ltd – receivers and managers appointed (Michael Basedow and Leigh Prior of Pitcher Partners).
ASIC is investigating the management and activities of the Charterhill group, which operated as a 'one stop shop', providing advice to clients on the establishment of SMFS, rollover of existing superannuation funds into an SMSF, sourcing and purchase of investment properties, property management, insurance and taxation.
ASIC stated it will not be making any further comment on its investigation at this time.