ASIC permanently bans SMSF property spruiker
As part of its ongoing investigations into a group promoting SMSFs and property, ASIC has banned a sole director for a range of contraventions under financial services and credit laws.
In a public announcement, ASIC said it has permanently banned John Dimitropoulos of Seven Hills, NSW, from providing financial services or engaging in credit activity.
Mr Dimitropoulos' banning ASIC said, arises from its ongoing investigation into a property and SMSF promoting group, which includes the companies formerly called Heritage Financial Solutions Australia Pty Ltd and Sunpac Finance Pty Ltd.
ASIC found that between 1 July 2010 and at least mid-2013, Mr Dimitropoulos engaged in a range of contraventions under financial services and credit laws.
In particular, ASIC found that he made false statements to ASIC in Sunpac Finance’s annual compliance certificates about Sunpac Finance’s compliance processes and procedures and was also involved in Sunpac Finance and Heritage Financial Solutions’ breaches of their general conduct obligations as credit licensees.
According to ASIC he was also involved in Heritage Financial Solutions carrying on a financial services business without a licence and engaged in conduct that demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of and regard for compliance with the law.
ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said spruikers who recommend people invest in property via SMSFs, or facilitate such an investment, and who do not have an Australian financial services licence are breaking the law.
“ASIC will act to protect the interests of investors, particularly in the growing SMSF sector, by permanently removing those whose conduct falls short of the required standards,” said Mr Kell.
ASIC's decision was made on 23 June 2017. On 27 June 2017, Mr Dimitropoulos filed for a review of ASIC's decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), together with an application seeking a stay of the banning decision and a confidentiality order.
That application was heard by the AAT on 23 August 2017 and on 19 September 2017 the AAT delivered its decision refusing the application.
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.