Director of collapsed real estate group banned

Director of collapsed real estate group banned

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The regulator has taken action against the head of a group caught in a $19.1 million insolvency – more than a year after it collapsed.

Financial services regulator ASIC announced that it had banned George Nowak from providing financial services until July 2017 on the basis he is an undischarged bankrupt.

Mr Nowak is the director of Charterhill Group, whose four related entities entered insolvency in January-February 2014 with $19.1 million of debt, according to recent ASIC documents.

The Adelaide-based group offered a range of services including real estate marketing, property management, mortgage broking, contract negotiation and SMSF advice.

ASIC’s ongoing investigation found that Mr Nowak applied for personal bankruptcy in July 2014, as Real Estate Business reported earlier this month.

“Mr Nowak is banned from providing financial services for the period of his bankruptcy,” ASIC said.

“He is also automatically banned under the Corporations Act from acting as company director and being involved in the management of companies for this period.”

ASIC announced last July that it had formed a taskforce to investigate one-stop shops, and that Charterhill’s collapse had “raised a number of questions” about this strategy.

Real Estate Business reported earlier this week Mr Nowak had been caught up in concerns about possible insolvent trading.

One of Charterhill’s four companies, Lending Solutions International, may have traded while insolvent, according to a report by its liquidator, Heard Phillips.

“Our investigations indicate that the company may have traded whilst insolvent and, consequently, the director may be liable for the debts incurred during this period, which remain outstanding at the date of our appointment,” the report said.

“We note, however, that on 2 July 2014 the director filed a petition for his own bankruptcy and the trustee of his bankrupt estate advised that there is no likelihood of any dividend to unsecured creditors.”

[Related: Collapsed property spruiker’s missing millions]

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