In Brief: ASIC acts against WA property schemes

THE Australian Securities and Investments Commission has obtained injunctions against Perth property developers Kenneth and Morag Fraser and associated companies to stop the promotion of nine land sub-division schemes in Western Australia. The Federal Court of Australia last week granted the interim ex-parte injunctions against Frasers-The Project Managers Pty Ltd, Kenneth Fraser, Morag Fraser and five companies associated with the Frasers. ASIC informed the court it was concerned that the schemes were still being operated and scheme assets dealt with, despite the scheme operators undertaking to ASIC that such actions would cease. ASIC alleges the schemes are unregistered managed investment schemes that are required to be registered under the Corporations Act. Among ASIC’s allegations were that, between June 2006 and July 2007, Frasers-The Project Managers Pty Ltd offered clients the opportunity to invest in schemes for the purchase and subdivision of rural land into residential lots adjacent to Perth. ASIC alleges that investors paid an expression of interest fee and in some cases a deposit, and that this money was pooled and used in relation to the schemes. Since June 2006, about 100 investors are believed to have invested about $5.5 million in the nine schemes. ASIC alleges that since these schemes are not registered, they do not have the appropriate safeguards in place to protect investors, as required by Corporations Act.

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