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ASIC initiates court action against property developers targeting SMSFs

Federal Court
Tony Zhang
12 August 2021 — 1 minute read

The corporate regulator has commenced Federal Court proceedings alleging a property development company provided unlicensed advice around SMSFs to almost 300 investors.

ASIC has issued Federal Court proceedings alleging Monica Kaur and MKS Property Investments/Developments Pty Ltd (MKS Property) operated an unregistered managed investment scheme (unregistered MIS) and provided unlicensed financial advice to consumers.

The action follows ASIC obtaining interim travel restraint and asset freezing orders in previously issued proceedings against Ms Kaur, MKS Property director Sadu Singh and MKS Property, as well as Paradise Property Group Pty Ltd, Melvin Paul Singh and Stephanie Lee.

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“ASIC alleges that between at least 1 March 2017 and 16 December 2020, Ms Kaur and MKS Property encouraged around 300 investors to establish self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and invest in property investments and developments set up by MKS Property,” ASIC stated.

“ASIC is seeking winding up and disqualification orders and the appointment of liquidators and receivers to secure assets of the alleged scheme.

“These proceedings form part of ASIC’s work to protect consumers and take enforcement action where we suspect unlicensed financial advice.”

On 16 December 2020, ASIC obtained urgent interim orders, restraining the defendants from removing their assets from Australia, disposing of their property, and freezing monies in their bank accounts, and preventing Ms Kaur, Mr Singh and Mr Melvin Singh from leaving Australia.

ASIC found the defendants raised at least $11.3 million from around 300 investors during the period from 1 March 2017 to 22 September 2020 through MKS Property. It is alleged that investors were encouraged to establish an SMSF and invest part or all of their SMSFs or other funds into property investments and developments set up by MKS Property and/or Paradise Property. These funds would be pooled together to invest in property development.

ASIC also alleged the defendants used investor funds, at least in part, for their own personal use and to pay returns to investors.

ASIC’s investigation continues, with the matter having been adjourned to 25 August 2021.

Tony Zhang

Tony Zhang is a Journalist at 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 2020, Tony has covered various publications across the legal, financial and professional services sectors including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and Accountants Daily.

ASIC initiates court action against property developers targeting SMSFs
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