The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today said it has obtained interim orders from the Supreme Court of New South Wales freezing the assets of several asset management firms.
In addition to the freezing orders, ASIC has obtained orders restraining the parties from dealing with monies received from investors, as well as restraining them from carrying on a financial services business. The interim orders are in place until 4 September 2017, when the matter is next in Court.
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ASIC alleges that Courtenay House Capital Trading Group Pty Ltd (Courtenay House Trading Group), Courtenay House Pty Ltd (Courtenay House) and a number of other parties have operated unregistered managed investment schemes or otherwise raised funds illegally from the public, and carried on a financial services business without a licence. An interim travel restraint order was also made against Tony Iervasi.
ASIC also alleges that the parties have engaged in misleading conduct in relation to providing unlicensed financial services and dealing with investor funds in a manner inconsistent with the conduct of a managed investment scheme. The amount that has been restrained in bank accounts associated with Courtenay House Trading Group and Courtenay House could be as much as $25 million.
The Sydney-based firm has been operating for the past 4 years and it offers three monthly trading categories: 1.5% potential monthly profit while risking 4.5% of capital; 4% potential monthly profit while risking 10% of capital; and 7% potential monthly profit while risking 14% of capital. The minimum amount needed to open an account with them ranges from 50K for the 1.5% package, to 300K for the 7% package. Also, when someone new signs up they have their capital placed into separate pools within each category. Every monthly trading category consists of 5-8 groups of such pools.
According to the Australian watchdog: “Until 27 April 2017, Courtenay House Trading Group was the investment manager of a registered managed investment scheme, known as the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund, Australian Registered Scheme Number 155 250 433 (the Fund). On that date, Australian Mutual Holdings Limited, the responsible entity for the Fund, terminated the appointment of Courtenay House Trading Group as investment manager. The Fund is not subject to the interim orders or ASIC’s investigation.”