Friday 16 June 2006 06 – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – The Aust…

Friday 16 June 2006 06 – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned two Melbourne directors associated with an unregistered managed investment scheme from providing financial services for three years. Mr Brian Forshaw, of Toorak, and Mr Guiscardo Ricky Bottari of Elwood, Victoria, were banned following an investigation by ASIC into their involvement in three companies connected with unregistered managed investment scheme, Investors Choice Fixed Interest Program. The bannings follow declarations and orders obtained by ASIC in February in Melbourne’s Federal Court against Royal Parade Properties Pty Ltd (formerly known as Investors Choice Pty Ltd), Vitalskill Management Pty, and Infocus Management Australia Pty Ltd. At the time, the court declared that the three companies had contravened the Corporations Act 2001(the Act) by operating a managed investment scheme without registration, failing to provide a Product Disclosure Statement for a financial product, and operating a financial services business without an Australian financial services licence (AFSL). As former directors of Vitalskill Management and Infocus Management (trading as Investor Choice Financial Solutions), ASIC alleged Messrs Forshaw and Bottari had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and demonstrated a propensity to ignore laws concerning financial products. Mr Forshaw and Mr Bottari have the right to lodge an application for review of ASIC’s decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Background In December 2005, ASIC applied to wind up the scheme in the Federal Court following concerns that the companies had contravened the Corporations Act by operating an unregistered managed investment scheme with more than 20 investors. On 20 December 2005, the Federal Court made interim orders preventing the companies from operating the scheme, but permitting the assets of the scheme to be returned to the investors. This ensured that all investors would receive repayment of all money invested by them with interest by 15 January 2006. Approximately $2.8 million was returned to the 26 investors of the scheme by 1 February 2006. Following repayment to the investors, the court made orders restraining the three companies until March 2011 from: • promoting any managed investment scheme to members of the Australian public;
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• dealing, offering, or issuing financial products or generating interest in financial products; • printing, publishing, or distributing or causing to be printed, published, or distributed, written materials promoting managed investment schemes; or • making any recommendation, or offering advice, whether orally or in writing, to any person in relation to a financial product or a decision by a person regarding whether or not to invest in a financial product. For further information contact: Allen Turton Deputy Executive Director, Enforcement Telephone: 02 9911 2338 Mobile: 0411 549 236 Emma Forehan ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3354 Mobile: 0409 702 310

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