The corporate regulator has started civil penalty proceedings against an AFSL holder and its director and chief executive for publishing misleading investment strategies.
The proceeding in the Federal Court against Port Phillip Publishing (PPP) and its chief executive Kristan Sayce concerns an article promoting an investment strategy that, according to PPP, consumers could adopt to “piggyback”, or mimic the performance of, the Australian government’s Future Fund, ASIC said in a statement.
The article said that the investment strategy would generate monthly income of $540 to $6,667.
Further, the article, which included client testimonials purportedly supporting the strategy, was targeted at retirees and was published on two of PPP’s websites and emailed to about 120,000 subscribers. Consumers were able to access the promoted investment strategy by purchasing a detailed guide from PPP for $49.
ASIC alleged that the article and the guide were misleading and deceptive because consumers could not mimic the performance of the Future Fund by adopting the promoted investment strategy, and that the testimonials contained in the article were false.
“ASIC alleges that PPP and Sayce breached various consumer protection provisions of the ASIC Act and Corporations Act, that PPP breached its AFSL obligations, and that Sayce breached his duties as a director of PPP,” ASIC said.
“In addition to declarations and financial penalties, ASIC seeks corrective advertising orders, injunctions and disqualification orders against Sayce.”
The first hearing of the matter is listed for 22 February 2019.
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