AUSTRALIA- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has obtained court orders against the operators of illegal early release superannuation schemes which targeted consumers in New Zealand.
Permanent injunctions were granted against Raymond Stuart Heard, of Brisbane in Queensland, relating to his involvement in the schemes, which facilitated the illegal early release of more than $3.5m in Australian superannuation benefits.
The funds were held largely by New Zealand residents, who had accumulated the benefits while working in Australia.
Heard also consented to declarations that he had carried on a financial services business without holding an Australian financial services licence.
The declarations and permanent injunctions follow an earlier application by ASIC in which the Federal Court issued interlocutory injunctions against Heard, Nigel Alfred McRae, also known as Ross McKenzie, and Stephen Phillip Evans, the three promoters of the schemes.
Final Orders against Messrs McRae and Evans were obtained by ASIC in the Federal Court on 25 October 2004.
The permanent injunctions, ordered by the Federal Court in Brisbane, restrain Heard, unless authorised by either the Corporations Act, Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act or the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations as amended from time to time, from activities including:
- advertising, promoting, maintaining or marketing of any business that facilitates the early release of superannuation interests;
- receiving or dealing with the redemption of a superannuation interest; charging a fee or commission for facilitating, or depositing any money which relates to superannuation interests; and
- holding out that he is able to provide any financial services in relation to superannuation interests, or that he is associated with either a superannuation entity or a receiver of a superannuation entity.
“ASIC has continued to scrutinise schemes promoting the early release of superannuation benefits. Consumers should be aware that in many cases these schemes are illegal,” ASIC’s executive director of enforcement, Jan Redfern said.
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