ASIC investigation into Mr Chris Marco

Update - 28 May 2020

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has successfully applied to the Federal Court of Australia for orders to appoint interim receivers over the assets of Mr Chris Marco, AMS Holdings (WA) Pty Ltd and AMS Holdings (WA) Pty Ltd as trustee for the AMS Holdings Trust.

Mr Robert Kirman and Mr Robert Brauer of McGrathNicol, Perth, have been appointed to act as Interim Receivers (Interim Receivers).

The Interim Receivers are required to provide a report to the Court by 26 July 2020 which will include:

  • the identification of the assets and liabilities of Mr Marco;
  • an opinion as to the solvency of Mr Marco;
  • the likely return to creditors, including investors, in the event that any scheme operated by Mr Marco were to be wound up; and
  • any other information necessary to enable the financial position of Mr Marco to be assessed.

The Interim Receivers are also required to provide a report addressing the same criteria regarding AMS Holdings (WA) Pty Ltd and AMS as trustee for the AMS Holdings Trust by the same date.

The appointment of the Interim Receivers is part of ASIC’s ongoing application for final orders to wind up an alleged unregistered managed investment scheme operated by Mr Marco, with a date for the hearing of the winding up application yet to be set.

ASIC’s investigation of other aspects of Mr Marco’s conduct is ongoing.

ASIC will continue to keep investors informed via this webpage.  If investors have any questions regarding this matter, they are invited to contact ASIC at CMarcoinvestorliaison@asic.gov.au.

Update - 16 March 2020

At the start of the hearing on 16 March 2020, Justice McKerracher advised everyone who was present that due to the coronavirus, the hearing would be proceeding on the papers and not in person as originally scheduled.  The hearing was adjourned shortly after that.  Justice McKerracher will hand down his decision at a future date.

Update - 12 March 2020

ASIC’s application for the appointment of an interim receiver is due to return to the Federal Court for hearing on 16 and 17 March 2020, subject to any outcome from a mediation before a Court-appointed Registrar to be held this Friday 13 March 2020. Mediations of this kind are a standard step in proceeding to a Court hearing.  Unlike the Court hearing scheduled for early next week, mediations are held in private rather than in the open Courtroom.

The matter is proceeding this month after an application by Mr Marco to delay the hearing of ASIC’s application was denied by the Court.

ASIC’s investigation of other aspects of Mr Marco’s conduct is ongoing. ASIC is continuing to speak with affected investors. Investors wishing to provide information to ASIC are invited to make contact with the investigation team via email in the first instance at CMarcoinvestorliaison@asic.gov.au, and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible.

Update - 19 December 2019

ASIC takes steps to wind up Chris Marco’s alleged unregistered managed investment scheme

ASIC has commenced action in the Federal Court in Western Australia against Mr Chris Marco, who traded as Coastline Group and related entity AMS Holdings (WA) Pty Ltd (AMS). ASIC is seeking orders to wind up the scheme operated by Mr Marco and, in the short term, appoint a receiver to manage Mr Marco’s and AMS’s assets.

If granted, the appointment of a receiver will:

  1. enable the receiver to identify and secure Mr Marco’s and AMS’s assets; and
  2. determine what assets may be available for the benefit of investors.

Copies of the documents ASIC filed today can be accessed here:

Interlocutory Process

The matter has been tentatively listed for a two-day hearing commencing on Monday, 16 March 2020.

ASIC alleges Mr Marco breached section 911A of the Corporations Act 2001(Cth) (Act) by conducting a financial services business without an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). ASIC further alleges that Mr Marco breached section 601ED of the Act by operating an unregistered managed investment scheme.

ASIC’s investigations indicate that Mr Marco owes approximately $240 million to 132 investors. Mr Marco provided most investors with a guarantee that their principal investment was secured.   ASIC alleges that there is a very significant shortfall in the assets available to operate the scheme into the future.

ASIC’s investigation into other aspects of the alleged conduct of Mr Marco and AMS is ongoing.

ASIC’s action in the Federal Court does not include recovery action on behalf of investors.  ASIC confirms previous advice to investors that they should consider seeking their own personal legal advice in regard to their rights in relation to their investment.  Any investors who may be suffering financial or other distress are also encouraged to consider seeking appropriate counselling.

If investors have any questions regarding this matter, they are invited to contact ASIC at CMarcoinvestorliaison@asic.gov.au.

Last updated: 28/05/2020 01:52