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Perth adviser banned for three years

DARREN Charles Horner has been banned from acting as a representative dealer or an investment adviser for three years.

The ban follows an Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation into the operations of Securinvest Accounting Services, a Perth-based business that represented itself as a financial planning business.

Securinvest promoted and sold interests in tax-effective investment schemes that allowed investors to borrow the entire amount of the investment and repay the loan from an anticipated tax return.

ASIC found that Mr Horner made statements to investors that were false and misleading to secure the sale of securities and that he represented himself as a representative of a securities business that was not licensed.

The commission also found that Mr Horner made representations in relation to securities to people who may reasonably be expected to rely on them when he did not have a reasonable basis for making the recommendations and without proper consideration of his client’s financial situation, objectives and risk profile.

It also formed the view that Mr Horner failed to perform the duties of a representative of a dealer or adviser efficiently, honestly and fairly and had reason to believe he would not perform those duties efficiently, honestly and fairly in future.

Following a ruling by the Australian Tax Office that disallowed deductions on these investments, many of Mr Horner’s clients – which numbered more than 700 in total – were required to return tax refunds to the ATO and to repay loans from financiers related to the investment.

A number of these investors have won compensation against the principals behind Securinvest and these claims are being quantified by the Supreme Court of Queensland.

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