The corporate regulator has banned the CEO and director of a real estate group from providing financial services for four years.
Ronald Cross of ParkTrent Properties Group was handed the penalty after the Supreme Court of NSW found the company had unlawfully carried on an unlicensed financial services business for more than five years by advising clients to purchase investment properties through their SMSFs.
The court also permanently restrained ParkTrent from providing unlicensed financial product advice to clients regarding SMSFs.
ASIC found that, as the key decision-maker of ParkTrent, Mr Cross was knowingly involved in the company’s contraventions, making all its major strategic and business decisions and intending to influence clients to purchase properties through SMSFs.
The regulator also found that Mr Cross was willing to ignore legal advice and warnings about ParkTrent’s practices, “demonstrating that he is likely to contravene financial services laws”.
“ASIC’s action against Mr Cross shows that we will not hesitate to exclude property spruikers who provide unlicensed financial services from the industry,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.