ASIC acts against offshore companies
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced it has obtained ex parte orders in the Federal Court of Australia appointing provisional liquidators to four companies based in the United States.
The move follows ASIC's ongoing investigation into two Queensland-based self-managed superannuation advice companies, Royale Capital Pty Ltd (Royale) (now known as ACN 143 832 053) and ActiveSuper Pty Ltd (Active), who raised $4.75 million from more than 300 investors.
In July 2012 ASIC obtained court orders restraining Royale and Active, as well as their directors Justin Gibson and Jason Burrows, preventing them from carrying on their activities following concerns they'd misled investors about their investments (refer: 12-161MR).
On 14 November, Damian Templeton and Darren Lewis of KPMG were appointed as joint and several provisional liquidators to the following Arizona-based companies (collectively known as the LLC Companies):
- U.S. Realty Investments #1, LLC;
- U.S. Realty Investments #2, LLC;
- U.S. Realty Investments #3, LLC; and
- U.S. Realty Investments #4, LLC
ASIC's ex parte action aims to protect the interests of SMSF clients of Active and Royale and follows ASIC's concerns that Mr Burrows, the last known manager (director) of the LLC Companies, appears to have lost control over the LLC Companies and, as a consequence, the assets held by the LLC Companies may be at risk of dissipation. ASIC alleges those assets, being 14 Arizona properties, were purchased with funds invested by Australian SMSF clients of Royale and Active.
The provisional liquidators were ordered to report to the Court on issues such as assets and liabilities of the LLC Companies, the likely return to creditors, and the overall solvency of the LLC Companies.
The Court also ordered that the LLC Companies be joined as defendants to ASIC's current Federal Court proceeding relating to Royale and Active.