ASIC undertakes further action with Heritage Group investigation
ASIC has banned a mortgage broker for three years as part of its ongoing investigations into Heritage Group, a company that advised clients to set up SMSFs to purchase property.
In a public release, ASIC said it has banned Michael Wilkins, of Watanobbi, NSW, from engaging in credit activities for three years.
Mr Wilkins was a mortgage broker and helped clients to arrange finance to purchase properties.
On five occasions in June and July 2010, ASIC said that Mr Wilkins submitted loan applications on behalf of clients in which he deliberately overstated their savings by between about $130,000 and $179,000.
By submitting these loan applications, ASIC said it found that Mr Wilkins gave to the bank information or a document that was false or misleading.
The three-year ban for Mr Wilkins arose from ASIC’s ongoing investigation into a group of companies and people known as the Heritage Group.
In the course of its investigation, ASIC has undertaken other action against the group and those involved, including in June 2017 permanently banning Mr John Dimitropoulos from providing financial services or engaging in credit activity.
It also cancelled the credit licence of a company formerly called Heritage Financial Solutions Australia Pty Ltd and Heritage – Freedom & Security Pty Ltd.
It also cancelled the credit licence of a company formerly called Sunpac Finance Pty Ltd on its own application and cancelled the credit licence of Smithson & Baye Pty Ltd. This cancellation is currently subject to a decision on appeal to the AAT.
ASIC said it had concerns about the way The Heritage Group structured the loans and property ownership within its clients’ SMSFs.
“Investors who obtained advice or finance from people associated with this group should contact their lender and if necessary, obtain independent professional advice to ensure that the loans to their SMSFs and their property ownership have been structured in compliance with the trustees' superannuation law obligations,” said the corporate regulator.