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18-394MR ASIC acts to freeze funds in land banking scheme
The Federal Court of Australia made interim orders on 20 December 2018 restraining Askk Investment Group Pty Ltd (Askk) from dealing with funds in their bank accounts in relation to a suspected land banking scheme. Askk is also restrained from selling or otherwise dealing in the property which is the subject of the land banking scheme.
Askk has an interest in land located in Lot 2, 615 Hume Highway Beveridge, Victoria.
ASIC suspects that since October 2017, Askk has raised in excess of $10 million dollars from more than 270 investors in relation the land, and since this time, investors have been making ongoing payments in respect of their investment.
ASIC is concerned that Askk:
- may be operating an unregistered managed investment scheme (MIS);
- may be carrying on a financial services business in relation to the promotion and operation of an unregistered MIS without holding an Australian Financial Service Licence; and
- may have engaged in conduct that is misleading or deceptive during the promotion of the scheme to investors.
ASIC’s investigation is ongoing. The freezing orders remain in place until the next hearing date on 8 February 2019.
Further information on land banking is located on ASIC's MoneySmart website. If investors have any questions regarding ASIC’s investigation, they can contact ASIC on 1300 300 630.
Download the Court Orders
Download ASIC’s Originating Process
Editor’s note 1:
The matter returns to Court for a directions hearing on 18 April 2019. Orders made by consent of the parties on 7 February and 14 February, 13 March and 8 April 2019 extended the freezing orders with some limited exceptions.
Editor's note 2:
The matter is next listed for directions in the Federal Court on 23 May 2019.
Editor’s note 3:
The Federal Court made further directions on 23 May 2019 programming the matter to a hearing on 22 and 23 October 2019.
Download the Court Orders dated 23 May 2019.
Editor's note 4:
The Federal Court has made further orders allowing for certain payments relating to the property which is the subject of the land banking scheme and varying the time for the filing of any affidavits by Askk.
More information for investors is here.