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Wednesday 19 August 2020

20-187MR ASIC obtains interim injunctions against Larry Dawson and PW Kitt Co Pty Ltd

ASIC has successfully applied to the Federal Court of Australia for urgent interim orders against NSW-based PW Kitt Co Pty Ltd and its sole director Larry John Dawson (the defendants).

On 7 August 2020, ASIC obtained urgent interim orders:

  • to appoint receivers and managers to the property and assets of the defendants;
  • for the receivers to provide a report to the Court and ASIC within 42 days regarding the affairs of the defendants;
  • to stop the defendants from removing, dealing with or diminishing the value of property or assets, including funds in bank accounts held by the defendants; and
  • to restrain Mr Dawson from leaving Australia.

ASIC’s application was based on concerns that the defendants obtained almost $7 million in Australian investor funds by cold-calling Australian consumers and operating the websites smsfadvisory.com and pwkittco.com.

ASIC submitted to the Court that the defendants were using the same or substantially similar company and business names to an unrelated business SMSF Advisory Services Pty Ltd and P.W. Kitt & Co.  It is also alleged that the defendants used the Australian financial services (AFS) licence number of another company.  ASIC remains concerned that the defendants appear to have no connection with those businesses and hold no licence or authority to deal in financial products or provide financial services.

Michael John Hill, Anthony Norman Connelly and Katherine Sozou of McGrathNicol have been appointed as receivers and managers to the property and assets of the defendants. The receivers are required to report back to the Court concerning the affairs of the defendants by 18 September 2020.

Any person who is concerned that they have invested with the defendants or SMSF Advisory Services Pty Ltd should contact Patrick Cashman of McGrathNichol on (07) 3333 9800.

ASIC commenced this investigation as part of its response to the increase in financial scam activity arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. This action demonstrates ASIC’s readiness to take urgent action to protect vulnerable consumers in the current environment.

The matter will return before the Court on 27 August 2020. ASIC’s investigation is ongoing.

Editor's note:

The case management hearing listed for 27 August 2020 has been adjourned to 10 September 2020.

Editor's note 2:

On 10 September 2020, ASIC filed an amended originating process with the Court. ASIC is now seeking declarations from the Federal Court that Larry Dawson contravened the Corporations Act 2001 by breaching his duties as a director of PW Kitt Co Pty Ltd, orders disqualifying Mr Dawson from managing corporations and orders that Mr Dawson pay a pecuniary penalty. ASIC also seeks the winding up of, and appointment of liquidators to, PW Kitt Co Pty Ltd.

The matter is listed for a case management hearing on 5 November 2020.

Editor's note 3:

On 5 November 2020 the Court made orders for the winding up of PW Kitt Co and for the appointment of Michael John Hill, Anthony Norman Connelly and Katherine Sozou of McGrathNicol as liquidators of PW Kitt Co.

The matter will return before the Court for a further case management hearing at 2:15pm on 7 December 2020.

Editor's note 4:

On 5 November 2020, the Court made orders for the winding up of PW Kitt Co and for the appointment of Michael John Hill, Anthony Norman Connelly and Katherine Sozou of McGrathNicol as liquidators of PW Kitt Co.

The matter will return before the Court for a further case management hearing at 2:15pm on 7 December 2020.

Editor's note 5:

The case management hearing listed for 7 December 2020 has been adjourned until 3 February 2021 at 11:00am.

 

Last updated: 19/11/2020 05:59