Regulator obtains urgent injunction against property spruiker

Jamie McIntyre has again fallen foul of ASIC after his group ran ads that said consumers could “buy Australian property” with “no money down”.

ASIC has obtained an urgent injunction in the Federal Court against two companies associated with Mr McIntyre: 21st Century Property (officially known as Property Tuition) and 21st Century Education (officially known as Education Holdings).

Macro Realty Developments is also subject to the injunction, which prohibits the companies from promoting and marketing a proposed Pilbara property investment, according to ASIC.

The regulator has alleged that the two 21st Century Group companies promoted the proposed investment with the tagline ‘Do you know how to buy Australian property, no money down?’.

ASIC has also alleged that the investment documents are “misleading and deceptive”.

In a statement to REB, 21st Century Group hit out at ASIC and defended its innocence.

The statement said that 21st Century Group has a media division that gets paid to send out digital marketing and print ads to promote its advertising clients’ services. “It is neither responsible for services provided by its advertising clients nor is it responsible for their compliance,” 21st Century Group said.

“ASIC’s attempts to somehow hold the 21st Century Group responsible for one of its advertising client’s services is beyond belief.”

The statement also alleged that “ASIC wish to damage Jamie McIntyre for being a whistle-blower regarding ASIC’s widespread misconduct for years now”.

This is the second time in six weeks that ASIC has come after Mr McIntyre. Last month, it issued proceedings in the Federal Court against 21st Century Property and 21st Century Education regarding their promotion and sale of interests in five ‘land banking’ schemes.

In this latest matter involving the proposed Pilbara property investment, ASIC has also objected to the structure that was to be used to execute the transactions.

“The proposed investment was to involve investors being appointed as directors and shareholders of a company and creating a trust. Investors were then to cause that company to acquire certain properties from Macro in Newman Estate, Western Australia,” ASIC said.

“The investors were to be paid a director's fee but agreed that Macro would be the sole decision-maker for the company.”

By using this structure, 21st Century and Macro were “counselling and procuring investors to contravene their director's duties under the Corporations Act”, ASIC has alleged.

The Federal Court will hear the matter on 26 October. ASIC will ask the court to rule that the defendants contravened the Corporations Act and for the injunctions to be made permanent.

[Related: Regulators target unethical real estate practices]

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