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Wednesday 3 February 2016

16-021MR SMSF accountant charged

Following an ASIC investigation, Mr Nicholas James Ellis, 44, of Valentine in New South Wales, appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court charged with 23 criminal counts including 12 counts of making false and misleading statements, nine counts of fraudulently misappropriating money, one count of fraud and one count of obtaining a financial benefit by deception.

ASIC alleges that between March 2009 and June 2010, Mr Ellis, director of Tura Pty Ltd (in liquidation), made false or misleading statements to investors and then fraudulently misappropriated approximately $857,000 of investor funds.

The matter has been listed for mention on 22 March 2016.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. 

Background

ASIC alleges that Mr Ellis through his financial planning business 2020 Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, advised a number of his clients to set up self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). Between March 2009 and June 2010, ASIC alleges that Mr Ellis then made false and misleading statements in relation to an investment in a hotel at Tura New South Wales in order to raise funds from the SMSFs. ASIC alleges Mr Ellis then fraudulently misappropriated approximately $857,000 of investor money for his own benefit, including towards purchasing a $3,077,500 home in Manly. ASIC further alleges approximately $250,546 of the misappropriated investor funds were used to pay out investors in a previous investment run by Mr Ellis which had failed.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of between 5 and 10 years imprisonment.

ASIC banned Mr Ellis in 2013 from providing financial services for a period of 6 years for other conduct (refer: 13-069MR).   

Editor's note 1:

On 22 March 2016, the matter was adjourned for mention until 3 May 2016 in the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court.

Editor's note 2:

At a mention on 3 May 2016, the matter was stood over until 28 June 2016.

Editor's note 3:

On 28 June 2016, the Court set down a timetable for the matter to progress towards a committal hearing. The matter is next in court on 2 August 2016.

Editor's note 4:

On 2 August 2016, Mr Ellis waived his right to committal and was committed to stand trial in the District Court. The matter is listed to return to that court for mention on 19 August 2016. 

Editor's note 5:

On 19 August 2016 the Court set the matter down for hearing from 4 September 2017 for a period of four weeks.

Editor's note 7:

On 4 August 2017, Mr Ellis pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney to two charges of making false or misleading statements to obtain money from clients and fraudulent misappropriation of client funds, respectively (refer: 17-261MR)

Last updated: 03/05/2016 12:00