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Federal Court makes further orders around SMSF scheme

The Federal Court has made further orders around alleged fraudulent SMSF scheme My Wealth Manager Financial Services, as it emerged the alleged operators of the scheme had left the country.

SMSF Sarah Kendell 20 December 2019
— 1 minute read

In a judgment handed down on 13 December, the court ordered the company and its associated defendants Mustafa Mohammed, Mahek Mustafa and Mubashir Mohammed to immediately deliver to the receivers all books, records and papers relating to the scheme and the defendants’ own property.

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ASIC had previously obtained interim orders on 21 November appointing Deloitte as receivers of My Wealth Manager and a second associated company, 3M Financial Planning.

The court noted that following those orders being obtained, “the receivers appointed... have had substantial difficulties in accessing the books of... the defendants” and therefore further orders could be made to assist the receivers.

ASIC had also sought further orders to appoint receivers to two other companies associated with My Wealth Manager: My Wealth Protection and Secure Investments. However, the court found insufficient evidence had been produced to link the companies with the defendants and the scheme itself.

“Despite what appears to be concerning conduct by Secure Investments or My Wealth Protection, albeit not yet explained, the court lacks the power to appoint receivers or grant any lesser remedy on the present application,” the judgment said.

While the court had also ordered the directors of the associated companies — Mustafa Mohammed, his wife Mahek Mustafa and brother Mubashir Mohammed — to be restrained from leaving Australia without court consent, it emerged that they had already left the country prior to a previous hearing on the case.

“None of [the defendants] have indicated if or when they will return to this country. Information has been sought from those persons or some of them and it has not been forthcoming,” the court said.

“It is possible to draw the inference that they will not assist ASIC’s investigations. They are all citizens of India and have previously held Indian passports.”

The new orders follow ASIC’s announcement earlier this month that it was commencing civil proceedings against My Wealth Manager, the Mohammed brothers and Ms Mustafa.

In a statement on 4 December, ASIC said it was seeking declarations from the Federal Court that the three had contravened the Corporations Act by operating an unregistered managed investment scheme.

ASIC said in its statement that the defendants had gained over $7 million in super assets from My Wealth Manager customers by encouraging them to roll their super from APRA-regulated funds into an SMSF, and had then used the funds for personal payments to friends and family.

However, updated figures in the most recent judgment indicate more than $8 million had been obtained from over 50 customers.

Federal Court makes further orders around SMSF scheme
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