ASIC has banned the founder of the Charterhill Group of Companies (Charterhill Group), George Nowak, from providing financial services until 3 July 2017 on the basis that Mr Nowak is an undischarged bankrupt.
ASIC's investigation, which is ongoing, found that Mr Nowak applied for personal bankruptcy in July last year. Section 920A(1)(bb) of the Corporations Act provides that ASIC may make a banning order against a person if the person becomes insolvent under administration.
Mr Nowak has a right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
Mr Nowak is banned from providing financial services for the period of his bankruptcy. He is also automatically banned, under the Corporations Act, from acting as company director and being involved in the management of companies for this period.
ASIC is continuing to investigate the conduct of Mr Nowak and the activities of the Charterhill Group, which operated as a one-stop shop by offering a range of services including mortgage broking, real estate marketing, property management, contract negotiation and SMSF advice.
At least four related entities of the Adelaide-based group entered insolvency in January/February 2014 with $19.1 million of debt, according to recent ASIC documents.
In total, only $89,000 of the $19.1 million in debts has been recovered, or less than 0.5 cents in the dollar.
Charterhill director George Nowak was ordered in February 2014 to surrender his passport.