Court freezes funds of alleged SMSF property spruiker
ASIC has obtained interim orders from the Federal Court to freeze the assets of a director of a property development company.
In a public statement issued on 8 June, ASIC said the Federal Court had made interim orders to freeze the assets of company director Sasha Hopkins and two of his companies, The A Team Property Group (A Team) and Sash Investment Holdings.
According to ASIC, Mr Hopkins and A Team develop real property in Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia and obtain investments from consumers to fund the purchase and development of these properties.
ASIC said it had applied for the orders due to concerns that Mr Hopkins and A Team had allegedly told investors they could expect guaranteed returns from joint venture property developments of 25-50 per cent over the life of the development, which was typically forecast to be between 18 and 24 months.
The corporate regulator also alleges that Mr Hopkins and A Team carried on a financial services business without a licence by “providing personal advice to investors, which included advising investors to rollover their superannuation into SMSFs and use the rolled over superannuation to invest in property development”.
ASIC also alleges that Mr Hopkins and A Team have been operating an unregistered managed investment scheme that ought to have been registered and “misused investor funds, including converting investor funds into crypto assets”.
Justice Beach ordered that A Team, Sash Investment Holdings and Mr Hopkins’ assets be frozen, that they disclose their existing assets to the court and that a receiver be appointed to Mr Hopkins’ cryptocurrency assets.
Since late 2014, Mr Hopkins is, or has been, the director of 46 companies, according to ASIC.
“ASIC believes that Mr Hopkins and/or companies associated with Mr Hopkins are carrying on or have carried on as many as 28 property developments,” the corporate regulator stated.
“ASIC believes that at least six of these companies, which were placed into liquidation in 2021, were involved in 10 property developments.”
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 also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.