Property spruiker receives final orders

By Staff Reporter

The Supreme Court of NSW has handed down final orders further to a judgement delivered against an SMSF property spruiker.

ASIC announced yesterday afternoon that the Supreme Court of NSW has handed down final orders further to the judgment delivered against Park Trent Properties Group on 15 October.

The final orders come after the Supreme Court of NSW issued a damning verdict against Park Trent Properties Group, after it was found to have taken advantage of "unsophisticated investors".

Following ASIC action, the court found that Park Trent Properties Group unlawfully carried on a financial services business for more than five years by providing advice to clients to purchase investment properties through an SMSF.

The Wollongong business promotes itself as a “full service real estate company” that offers sales services, property management and investment advice.

ASIC said that Park Trent had advised more than 860 consumers to establish and switch funds into an SMSF by the time the trial started in June.

In his judgement at the time, acting justice Ronald Sackville said that Park Trent's business model depended on “persuading relatively unsophisticated investors of the virtues of using their superannuation accounts to purchase investment properties and to establish SMSFs”.

“Investors were influenced to make important decisions concerning their superannuation strategy with little or no genuine consideration of whether the decision took proper account of their individual financial circumstances. Some suffered financial loss as a consequence,” he added.

In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, ASIC said the court made the following orders against Park Trent:

• declarations that Park Trent had unlawfully carried on an unlicensed financial services business for more than five years by providing advice to clients to purchase investment properties through an SMSF; and

• a permanent injunction against Park Trent restraining them from providing unlicensed financial product advice to clients regarding SMSFs.

The orders also require Park Trent to post a notice on its website outlining the orders made against it, according to ASIC.

“The publication of a notice on its website appropriately recognises the seriousness of Park Trent's contravention and the public interest in bringing Park Trent's conduct to the attention of the community,” said his acting justice Sackville in his judgement.

Further, ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said this outcome sends a message that there are “serious consequences for property spruikers who break the law by providing unlicensed financial advice”.

Smart Property Investment contacted Park Trent for comment following the announcement, but no statement had been supplied at the time of publishing. 

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