Liquidators Appointed To Australian Retirement Village Operator – Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

Friday 19 October 2007 LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Following an application by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Justice Finkelstein of the Federal Court of Australia today appointed Mr Brian McMaster and Mr Mark Mentha of KordaMentha, liquidators of Western Retirement Village Management Pty Ltd (Western). ASIC alleged that Western was involved in the promotion and operation of an unregistered managed investment scheme, known as the Mews Scheme, which was established by Western and others for the purpose of constructing and operating a retirement village facility in Upper Swan, Western Australia. Orders had previously been made winding up the Mews Scheme and appointing receivers to the assets of the Mews Scheme.

ASIC sought to wind up Western because it was concerned that Western: • had been involved in the operation and promotion of an illegal unregistered managed investment scheme and there was no evidence that it had ever or would ever conduct any other legitimate business; • had entered into transactions that ‘encumbered’ the land (being the only asset of the Mews Scheme) but the land remained undeveloped; • failed to provide books and records that sufficiently explained what had happened to investors’ contributions to the Mews Scheme and money borrowed by it; and • was in possession of documents that would assist the receivers in the task of identifying assets and liabilities of the Mews Scheme and assessing the validity of claims made on the Mews Scheme’s assets.

Justice Finkelstein found, among other things, that Western paid the purchase price for, and became the registered proprietor of the land on which the village was to be built and was involved in marketing the scheme to investors, which raised approximately $6 million. In appointing Messrs McMaster and Mentha, Justice Finkelstein concluded that an investigation by a liquidator into the affairs of Western was necessary to complete the winding up of the Mews Scheme. Background On 30 May 2006, ASIC filed an application with the Federal Court seeking orders winding up the alleged unregistered managed investment schemes, known as the Mews and Rosedale
Schemes (the Schemes), and/or the winding up of the companies ASIC alleged were involved in the promotion and operation of the Schemes. ASIC’s application alleged that the Schemes were promoted in early 2000 by GDK Financial Solutions Pty Ltd and associated companies, Western, Windsor Village Management Pty Ltd, The Mews Village Nominees Pty Ltd, Peridon Management Pty Ltd and Rosedale Village Nominees Pty Ltd. GDK went into liquidation on 25 May 2006. Peridon Management went into liquidation in January 2006, after being put into voluntary administration in December 2005. On 28 November 2006, Justice Finkelstein made orders winding up the Schemes and appointing receivers to the assets of each of the Schemes. He also appointed liquidators to The Mews Village Nominees and Rosedale Village Nominees. The winding up of the Schemes is still proceeding with various investigations being undertaken by the receivers.

For further information contact: Michael van Maanen ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 02 9911 2658 Mobile: 0412 500 351

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