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20-314MR ASIC succeeds in application to wind up Chris Marco’s unregistered managed investment scheme
The Federal Court has ordered the winding up of an unregistered managed investment scheme (the scheme) operated by Mr Chris Marco and AMS Holdings (WA) Pty Ltd (AMS).
The Court also ordered that Mr Marco be permanently restrained from carrying on a financial services business without an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence or operating an unregistered managed investment scheme.
Justice McKerracher made declarations that Mr Marco, AMS and AMS as trustee of the AMS Holdings Trust (AMS Trustee) contravened the Corporations Actby:
- operating an unregistered managed investment scheme when the scheme was required to be registered; and
- carrying on a financial services business without holding an AFS licence.
The Court has ordered that the scheme and AMS be wound up and has appointed Mr Robert Kirman and Mr Robert Brauer of McGrathNicol as liquidators, replacing Mr Cameron Shaw, Mr Richard Albarran and Mr Marcus Watters of Hall Chadwick, who are the current liquidators of AMS. The Court has also appointed Mr Kirman and Mr Brauer as receivers and managers over all the property of the defendants.
ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said, ‘Today’s decision is an important milestone in our action against Mr Marco and AMS. Promoters of managed investment schemes must comply with the law, including the requirement to register the scheme with ASIC and hold an AFS licence. Where this doesn’t occur, ASIC will take action.'
The full judgment with the Court’s reasons is anticipated to be handed down this Friday.
ASIC’s investigation into the conduct of Mr Marco is ongoing.
On 1 November 2018, ASIC obtained asset preservation orders over the assets held by the defendants.
On 12 December 2019, ASIC filed an application seeking the appointment of interim receivers. ASIC’s application was heard on 16 March 2020. On 28 May 2020, the Court made orders appointing Mr Robert Kirman and Mr Robert Brauer of McGrathNicol, Perth, as Interim Receivers (19-351MR).
On 24 July 2020 the Interim Receivers filed their report with the Court (20-120MR).
On 28 and 29 October 2020, ASIC’s application for final orders to wind up the scheme was held.
On 11 December 2020, Justice McKerracher made public the reasons for his decision.