The Federal Court has ordered the wind up of an illegal investment scheme known as the VKK Investments Unit Trust as well as the trustee and operator of that scheme, Gem Management Group.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) investigation found the following:
- The VKK scheme was a managed investment scheme which was not registered, as required under the Corporations Act
- Gem did not hold an Australian financial services licence, also breached the Act by operating an unregistered managed investment scheme
ASIC deputy chair, Peter Kell stressed that land banking schemes were a particular focus of ASIC.
“ASIC reminds investors considering investing in land banking schemes they are often unregulated and that investors have little protection if something goes wrong,” he said.
“The ruling is a warning to those involved in unlawful schemes, including those that involve land banking, that ASIC will move to protect investors and have these unlawful schemes wound up.”
According to ASIC, around 125 investors invested a total of approximately $22 million into the VKK scheme, which Gem operated since May 2010 on the expectation that the land at Hutton Road, Keysborough, where the principal asset of the VKK scheme was located, would be re-zoned, which has not occurred.