Following an ASIC investigation, George Nowak has appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court charged with 31 counts of deception and one count of dishonest dealings with documents.
ASIC investigated Mr Nowak’s conduct in dealing with members of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) who were undertaking property purchases offered by companies of which he was a director, including EJ Property Developments Pty Ltd. It is alleged that Mr Nowak misappropriated $1.8 million in SMSF monies by not holding funds in a designated account and by not applying those funds towards the intended property purchases.
According to an ASIC statement released today, Mr Nowak was not required to enter a plea and was granted conditional bail. The matter is listed for return at the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 12 July 2016.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting these matters.
The charges of deception contrary to section 139(b) of the SA Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
The charge of dishonest dealings with documents contrary to section 140 of the SA Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
In 2012, in response to the growth in SMSFs, ASIC established the SMSF Taskforce. The taskforce continues to meet regularly to examine high-risk and emerging SMSF issues such as property spruiking to SMSFs, unlicensed conduct and false and misleading advertising of SMSFs.
One of the outcomes stemming from the SMSF Taskforce was ASIC’s banning of Mr Nowak, the founder of the Charterhill group of companies, from providing financial services until 3 July 2017 on the basis that he is an undischarged bankrupt.
[Related: ASIC bans Charterhill boss for two years]