ASIC has been exposed for attempting to cause $5.5 million in investor losses to frame one of its biggest critics and Treasurer Joe Hockey has been asked to intervene and demand ASIC to stop such appalling tactics.
This is allegedly a common strategy employed by them, says Jamie McIntyre- the target of an ASIC witch-hunt. He explains why the upcoming government audit of ASIC is critical in order to stop further losses and why a Royal Commission into ASIC is long overdue. According to Mr McIntyre, the ASIC Chairman must stand down immediately if he allows the corporate watchdog to cause the investors $5.5 million in unnecessary losses.
According to a press release put out by ASIC, the corporate watchdog has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against companies associated with Jamie McIntyre and the 21st Century Media, Education and Property Group in relation to their promotion and sale of interests to investors in land banking schemes.
ASIC alleges that ‘property options’ despite being a perfectly legal and legitimate tool for investors to secure land, wishes to deem it as a ‘financial product’. This would potentially require property vendors to acquire an Australian Financial Services license (AFSL) to issue them. ASIC is targeting 21st Century Property, the market leader in the sale of land options and one of the dozen companies that are part of 21st Century Group founded by outspoken financial educator turned political party founder Jamie McIntyre. McIntyre’s land projects reportedly have $1.5 billion in end value if rezoning and development proceeds.
It is expected the property industry will react furiously if ASIC is successful at setting a precedent in this matter as extensive legal advice 21st Century Group and others received under Financial Services law clearly shows that a property option is not a financial product. ASIC is refusing to answer a basic question, which is, if property options are now a financial product, when did such a change in law take place and how come the parliament, Canberra or the property industry are not aware of it? Moreover, what is ASIC doing interfering in property regulation and not doing its job as a Securities Regulator?
A 21st Century Group representative confirmed that they are planning to defend the matter. “All investors had legal advice before acquiring a land option and the options come with a 100% money back guarantee in the unlikely event the projects don’t receive rezoning approvals within 20 years secured by a default charge over the land project. So option holders have protection which can only be undone by ASIC trying to appoint liquidators to cause deliberate losses to them”, said the representative.
According to Mr McIntyre, ASIC’s allegations are deliberately misleading in an attempt to frame him as part of a typical tall poppy witch-hunt.
Mr McIntyre said, “ASIC are trying to suggest ‘property options’, which are legal instruments and a legitimate way for investors to acquire land, are actually ‘financial products’. “Others, including myself would like to know when that law was changed, or is ASIC now inventing new property laws in their spare time”?
“However, the property industry would be outraged if ASIC were successful at having the court deem it as such, especially since we have had continuous legal advice for years stating that ‘property options are not financial products’. If we were legally advised that they were financial products, we would have had them licensed.
“Either way ASIC’s behaviour is both premeditated and designed deliberately to cause maximum losses to option holders in these projects and to try and frame myself. Investors are protected already but only the ASIC has the power to now cause them losses. Investors should be very concerned if the government doesn’t step in urgently and prevent ASIC’s plan to cause up to $5.5 million in losses.
“If ASIC can’t handle criticism and want to try and destroy me, then bring it on. I am not easily intimidated by shonky ASIC employees, but at least leave the innocent investors out of it. Why do they deserve to lose millions because ASIC is upset that I have exposed their misconduct and along with Senators have been calling for a government audit and a Royal Commission into ASIC.
“ASIC is now trying to cause unnecessary losses to the investors they are actually meant to be protecting”.
CEO and founder of 21st Century Group of Companies, Mr McIntyre is also the founder and leader of the political party 21st Century Australia. An outspoken critic of incompetence and red-tape, Mr McIntyre ran against Barnaby Joyce in the 2013 Federal Elections and speculation suggests he will be running for a Senate seat in 2016. It is believed that McIntyre, his political party and its policies are a threat to left-wing politics and its bureaucratic ways.
When questioned regarding ASIC’s conduct and whether 21st Century Group has been cooperating, Mr McIntyre said:
“This is outrageous behaviour and they deserve to be fully exposed, especially considering we have fully co operated from day one. We even offered to refund all option holders and convert the land projects to Managed Investment Schemes, even if they aren’t legally required to be but ASIC won’t even allow that. It’s clear they have an ulterior motive and heads inside ASIC should roll over this appalling attempt of abuse of power and abuse of taxpayers funds.
“I think a Royal Commission into ASIC’s conduct, deceptive tactics and culture is long overdue and I will be relentless in my continuing criticism of ASIC’s suspect tactics until such a government audit or Royal Commission occurs.
“It’s very clear ASIC is trying to target and intimidate me over my outspoken exposure and criticism of the corporate watchdog for many years. However, someone has to stand up for the average investor against ASIC’s appalling tactics, which cause everyday investors losses because they simply try and frame its targets.
“They were asleep at the wheel letting Storm Financial lose investors $3.5 billion due to ASIC’s gross incompetence. Macquarie Bank lost investors $100 million recently from the sale of shares in a shell company that didn’t even own a coal asset it claimed. What did ASIC do? Nothing”, said Mr McIntyre.
In this case, we have zero investor losses. However, 21st Century Group is relentlessly targeted by ASIC who are now trying to ensure losses to frame Mr McIntyre.
McIntyre goes on to explain, “It’s an absolute joke and ASIC should be ashamed at their premeditated and deliberate actions. “I should not have to be protecting my investors from a cowboy regulator on a witch-hunt. This is meant to be Australia.
“They spent $20 million on a witch hunt targeted at Jodie Rich and lost. They did the same with Andrew Forrest and lost. Is this what taxpayers’ money should be used for?” questioned Mr McIntyre.
Mr McIntyre will be requesting that an enquiry is launched into these matters with certain Senators who are equally critical of ASIC’s conduct. He will also be requesting Treasurer Joe Hockey to step in and demand ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft to stop ASIC from causing the intended losses to the investors. He intends to request an enquiry into how ASIC continues to systematically cheat the system.