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Property adviser suspended for unlawful activity

By Staff writer
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Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has suspended one of its members following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

According to a statement from ASIC, Matt George from Money Choice was found to have failed to comply with credit laws and provided unlawful SMSF advice.

Mr George, who is the sole director of Money Choice, was banned from engaging in credit activities for eight years and from providing financial services for three years.

PIPA chair Ben Kingsley said the association had suspended Mr George’s Money Choice corporate membership and would be conducting its own investigation into the matter.

“PIPA will not tolerate any member who acts unlawfully and not within the best interests of their clients,” he said.

“Mr George has been issued with a suspension notice and will face a possible expulsion following further investigations.

“Under our constitution, Money Choice and Mr George as sole director may also face financial penalties for wilfully refusing or neglecting to comply with the provisions of the constitution or if found guilty of conduct which in the opinion of the board is prejudicial to the interests of the company.”

According to Mr Kingsley, PIPA has welcomed ASIC’s decision to crack down on unlawful activities within the SMSF space but maintains that Money Choice’s suspension highlights ongoing issues within the fast-growing SMSF sector.

“We remain concerned with the ongoing lack of regulation surrounding property investment, including within the SMSF space,” Mr Kingsley said.

“This sector of superannuation continues to grow exponentially and the alleged wrongdoings of Money Choice are yet another clear reminder that regulation is lacking. How many more Australians losing huge amounts of money will it take for the government to take action?”

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