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20-043MR Charterhill director George Nowak pleads guilty during trial
On 19 February 2020, Mr George Nowak pleaded guilty in the District Court of South Australia to 17 counts of aggravated deception and 1 count of dishonest dealings with documents.
Mr Nowak entered the plea during the third week of his criminal trial on these charges. The plea to 18 charges includes one representative charge, that effectively covers six of the deception counts as one.
ASIC investigated Mr Nowak's conduct in dealing with members of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), who were undertaking property purchases offered by companies of which he was a director, including EJ Property Developments Pty Ltd.
Charges laid against Mr Nowak concern the misappropriation of $1.2 million in SMSF monies by not holding those funds in a designated account and by not applying those funds towards the intended property purchase.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Sentencing submissions are listed for 24 February 2020.
The charges of aggravated deception contrary to section 139(a) of the SA Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 each carry a maximum penalty of fifteen years imprisonment.
The charge of dishonest dealings with documents contrary to section 140 of the SA Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment.
Mr Nowak was the founder of the Charterhill group of companies. The following companies in the Charterhill Group have been placed under external control:
- Lending Solutions International Pty Ltd – liquidators appointed (Andrew Heard and Anthony Phillips of Heard Phillips)
- Nova Real Estate Pty Ltd – external administrators appointed (Andrew Heard and Anthony Phillips of Heard Phillips)
- EJ Property Developments Pty Ltd – receivers and managers appointed (Michael Basedow and Leigh Prior of Pitcher Partners)
- Financial Wellness Pty Ltd – receivers and managers appointed (Michael Basedow and Leigh Prior of Pitcher Partners)
Mr Nowak’s bail was revoked on 24 February 2020. The matter has been adjourned to 19 March 2020 for further submissions on sentencing.
Editor's note 2:
Submissions on sentencing of Mr Nowak were heard on 19 March 2020. The matter has been adjourned to 30 March 2020, when it is expected a decision on sentencing will be made.
Editor's note 3:
The hearing on 30 March 2020 was vacated and the matter adjourned to 2 April 2020, when it is expected a decision on sentencing will be made.