Court dismisses property spruiker’s appeal

The Supreme Court of NSW has dismissed an appeal by one property group, which ASIC launched action against after finding it had advised hundreds of investors to establish SMSFs.

ASIC this morning announced that the full bench of the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Park Trent Properties Group Pty Ltd from the judgment acting Justice Ronald Sackville handed down in October 2015.

ASIC launched legal proceedings in November 2014 against Park Trent, who by the time of the trial in June 2015 had advised more than 860 members of the public to establish and switch funds into an SMSF.

Final orders were handed down in November 2015 and an appeal was launched on 26 February 2016.

In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Mark Leeming yesterday, the court found that no error had been made by the trial judge in refusing an application by Park Trent to amend its defence on the sixth day of the nine-day trial.

ASIC said that even if the amendment had been allowed, the regulation upon which Park Trent sought to rely would not have applied to the advice of Park Trent, which was the subject of the proceedings.

Park Trent will be required to pay ASIC’s costs of the appeal.

"ASIC welcomes the dismissal of the appeal. ASIC’s action against Park Trent has highlighted there are serious consequences for property spruikers who break the law by providing unlicensed financial product advice,” ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said.

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