Monday 4 December 2006 LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has obtained injunctions in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to stop a managed investment scheme involving approximately $11 million. The action against New Zealand company, Risqy Limited, and its Queensland based directors, Messrs Leslie George Whitford and Graham George Lee and associate Ms Elizabeth Flora Lacey, follows allegations by ASIC that almost 200 Australian investors paid over AUD$11 million into the company’s New Zealand account this year on the understanding it would be invested on the United States market.
Investors were promised a 67 per cent annual return. ASIC’s enquiries, however, indicate that over USD$800,000 (approximately AUD$1 million) of investors’ money has been lost on the market to date. ASIC is concerned that the company, its directors, and associate are not registered to carry on business in Australia nor do they hold the necessary Australian financial services licence.
ASIC has also expressed concern that the scheme is an illegal managed investment scheme and that a proper disclosure document was not provided to investors. As a result of these concerns and in order to protect investors, ASIC made an application to the Supreme Court and successfully obtained injunctions and orders: • restraining Risqy Limited, Messrs Whitford and Lee and Ms Lacey from operating the scheme, fundraising, and dealing with scheme money, property and records, • appointing William Fletcher of Bentleys MRI as receiver over scheme property to identify, secure, and recover investor funds and report to the court, • requiring Messrs Whitford and Lee and Ms Lacey to provide the receiver and ASIC with details of scheme bank accounts and property and to provide ASIC with investors’ details, and • restraining Messrs Whitford and Lee and Ms Lacey from leaving Australia and requiring them to deliver up their passports to the court.
ASIC has also applied to wind up the scheme, for injunctions permanently preventing the company and its directors from operating the scheme, and for declarations of contravention of various provisions of the Corporations Act. ASIC’s investigations are continuing. For further information contact: Jan Redfern Executive Director, Enforcement Telephone: 02 9911 2191 Mobile: 0411 119 210 Emma Forehan ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3354 Mobile: 0409 702 310