A New South Wales self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) accountant has been charged with 23 criminal counts, including 12 counts of making false and misleading statements, following an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.
Nicholas James Ellis appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court, after ASIC alleged that between March 2009 and June 2010, the director of Tura Pty Ltd (in liquidation), made false or misleading statements to investors, and fraudulently misappropriated around $857,000 of investor funds.
Ellis also faces nine counts of fraudulently misappropriating money, one count of fraud, and one count benefiting financially through deception.
ASIC alleged that Ellis advised many of his clients to set up SMSFs through his financial planning business, 2020 Financial Solutions Pty Ltd.
It also alleged Ellis made false and misleading statements about an investment in a hotel at Tura, NSW, in order to raise funds from the SMSFs.
Ellis is accused of fraudulently misusing $857,000 of investor money for his own benefit, including towards buying a home in Sydney for over $3 million.
Ellis also used around $250,546 of the misused investor funds to pay out investors in a previous failed investment run by Ellis.
Each charge comes with a maximum penalty of between five and 10 years' imprisonment.
ASIC had previously banned Ellis from providing financial services for six years for other conduct in 2013.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.