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AAT reduces accountant's ban on appeal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has reduced the banning of a Sydney accountant from providing financial services from eight years to six.

News Staff Reporter 24 September 2015
— 1 minute read

ASIC handed down the eight-year ban on Dimitri Amargianitakis in November 2014.

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Subsequently, Mr Amargianitakis appealed ASIC’s decision at the tribunal. On 17 September 2015, the AAT upheld ASIC’s decision that he should be banned, but reduced the period from eight to six years.

The AAT found Mr Amargianitakis:

• carried on a financial services licence without holding an Australian financial services (AFS) licence;
• made investment recommendations to investors without holding an AFS licence;
• had a lack of appreciation for the regulatory framework in which he operated; and
• provided information that was likely to mislead or deceive investors.

Mr Amargianitakis has 28 days to appeal this decision in the Federal Court.

ASIC’s original investigation found Mr Amargianitakis, as a director of Vista Capital Pty Ltd (Vista Capital), had:

• carried on a financial services business without holding an Australian financial services (AFS) licence;
• made investment recommendations to investors without holding an AFS licence; and
• signed financial statements in circumstances where he knew that they were not accurate.

Vista Capital provided mezzanine finance and mortgage lending, and raised funds for these activities by borrowing mainly from clients connected with the accounting practice Akis & Associates, of which Mr Amargianitakis was a director.

In November, ASIC Commissioner John Price said, "ASIC’s action is a timely reminder for the public to only deal with individuals and businesses who are able to demonstrate they are properly licensed to provide financial services."

In addition to his ban, Mr Amargianitakis also entered into an enforceable undertaking (EU) with ASIC, agreeing not to manage a company for 18 months.

Under the EU, Mr Amargianitakis has agreed to undertake and pass the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ course (or its equivalent, as agreed by ASIC) prior to re-appointment as a director of a company.

AAT reduces accountant's ban on appeal
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