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Australia's ASIC freezes property development company

BIScom Subsection: 
CoNet Administrator

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission has alleged that unlicensed financial advice is being given in relation to the development of property by a company headquartered in Perth and that it relates to an unlicensed investment scheme. The facts as set out by ASIC imply other issues, too. ASIC has frozen the assets of Monica Kaur, MKS Property Investments/Developments Pty Ltd (MKS Property), Paradise Property Group Pty Ltd (Paradise Property) as well as against Sadu Singh, Melvin Paul Singh and Stephanie Lee. All but Lee have been banned from leaving Australia.

ASIC's media release (edited) is as follows:

ASIC is concerned that Kaur is providing unlicensed financial advice services and that she, together with the defendants, are involved in promoting and operating an unregistered managed investment scheme.

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 Kaur, Singh and Singh from leaving Australia.

ASIC alleges the defendants raised at least AUD11.3 million from around 300 investors during the period 1 March 2017 to 22 September 2020 through MKS Property. It is alleged that investors were encouraged to establish a self-managed superannuation fund (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 alleges the defendants used investors' funds, at least in part, for their own personal use and to pay returns to investors.

On 17 December 2020, ASIC, with the assistance of the AFP, executed search warrants on a residential premise and business premises.

On 22 December 2020, the parties agreed that the asset and travel restraint orders regarding the defendants should continue with slight variation until further order of the Court. The matter is next in Court on a date to be fixed.

ASIC’s investigation is continuing.

To report information to ASIC on the defendants, please contact ASIC on 1300 300 630 or go to www.asic.gov.au/complain.

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