ASIC acts on $240m investment scheme

Thursday, 12 December, 2019 - 18:35

The corporate regulator is seeking to wind-up an alleged unregistered managed investment scheme run by Mt Hawthorn resident Chris Marco, who received about $240 million from 132 investors.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has commenced Federal Court action against Mr Marco, who traded as Coastline Group, along with AMS Holdings (WA) Pty Ltd, in its own right and in its capacity as trustee of AMS Holdings Trust.

ASIC is seeking to appoint a receiver over Mr Marco’s and AMS’s assets along with orders to appoint a liquidator to wind up the scheme and AMS.

It is also seeking declarations that Mr Marco failed to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) whilst carrying on a financial services business.

ASIC alleges Mr Marco has been raising funds from investors since January 2010, despite not having an AFSL or a registered investment scheme.

In a statement, ASIC said Mr Marco provided investors with a guarantee that their principal investment was secured.

ASIC will allege that there is a very significant shortfall in the assets available to operate the scheme into the future.

The orders sought by ASIC allow for Mr Marco to have up to $800 per week for ordinary living expenses.

The first case management hearing is listed for 17 December 2019.

Today’s action comes more than a year after ASIC obtained asset preservation orders over the assets held by Mr Marco and AMS.

Under these orders, property and cash owned by Mr Marco was frozen while ASIC’s investigation continued.

ASIC said today that Mr Marco has subsequently made numerous applications to vary the asset preservation orders permitting him to pay expenses incurred by AMS.