ASIC has obtained interim orders from the Federal Court freezing the assets of Ascent Investment and Coaching Pty Ltd (Ascent) and its director, Michael Jefferson Dunjey of Applecross, Western Australia.
ASIC’s application for these orders was made while ASIC investigates concerns that:
- funds may have been raised through misrepresentations made to investors;
- investor funds may have been improperly dealt with;
- Ascent may have been operating an unregistered managed investment scheme.
Justice Darren Jackson ordered that Ascent and Mr Dunjey be restrained from (among other things):
- removing property from Australia;
- selling, charging, mortgaging, dealing with or disposing of property;
- incurring new liabilities; or
- withdrawing, transferring, disposing of or dealing with money held in bank accounts or with a financial institution (subject to limited exceptions).
Mr Dunjey was also ordered to surrender his passport and be restrained from leaving Australia.
ASIC sought the orders to help protect investor funds while an investigation is continuing.
The orders have effect until a further hearing before the Court which is listed to take place on 21 December 2021.
Any person who is concerned they have invested with Ascent can contact ASIC at Ascent.Investigation@asic.gov.au.
On 20 December 2021, the Federal Court made Orders with the consent of Mr Dunjey, Ascent and ASIC:
- to vacate the hearing which had been listed for 21 December;
- to list the matter for a case management hearing on 20 January 2022;
- continuing, until further Order, the Orders made on 13 December 2021 to preserve the assets held by Ascent and by Mr Dunjey, and which prohibit Mr Dunjey and Ascent from incurring further liabilities such as investments or loans.
Editor's note 2:
On 20 January 2022, the Court made further orders, including the listing of the matter for a further case management hearing on 22 February 2022.
Editor's note 3:
On 21 February 2022, the Court made further orders, adjourning the case management hearing to 1 June 2022 and providing a timeline for ASIC’s foreshadowed application to appoint a provisional liquidator to Ascent.
Editor's note 4:
ASIC applied to appoint provisional liquidators to Ascent Investment and Coaching Pty Ltd in March 2022. Further information in this media release 22-036MR.