“Owing investors approximately $9 million (17-246MR). Many of the investors were pensioners and were approached by telemarketing or word of mouth. Investors were convinced to borrow against their homes and were told that their money would be used to develop property in Tasmania. Instead, the money paid by investors was used to pay back interest owed to other investors, payments to employees, cash withdrawals and transfers to personal bank accounts.”
Mr Wilkins was a mortgage broker and helped clients to arrange finance to purchase properties. ASIC found that on five occasions in June and July 2010, Mr Wilkins submitted loan applications on behalf of clients in which he deliberately overstated their savings by between about $130,000 and $179,000.
The introduction of the Best Interest Duty in 2013 as part of the Future of Financial Planning reforms (FoFA) stipulates that financial planners must act in the best interest of their clients. While the Best Interest Duty has had an overwhelmingly positive effect, there are still a number of financial advisers being reported by ASIC who have not been compliant, and consumers should be aware of what to look out for to avoid these rogue financial advisers.
Mr Dimitropoulos' banning arises from ASIC's ongoing investigation into a property and self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) promoting group, which includes the companies formerly called Heritage Financial Solutions Australia Pty Ltd (in liq) (Heritage Financial Solutions) and Sunpac Finance Pty Ltd (Sunpac Finance).
Former MP Bernie Ripoll, who chaired parliamentary joint committees on corporations and financial services, has signed on with financial complaints advice service, Financial Rescue. As a joint force, Mr Ripoll and Financial Rescue aim to help those who have suffered because of bad financial advice recover their losses.
ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'The Targeting Scams report published today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows reports to Scamwatch on investment scams increased in 2016. ASIC is alerting the public to ways to stay informed and protect themselves from scams.