InvestSMART

Romad manager banned over deceptive behaviour

A FORMER property spruiker who authorised the founder of failed broker Sonray to act as his representative has been banned from providing financial advice for four years.

A FORMER property spruiker who authorised the founder of failed broker Sonray to act as his representative has been banned from providing financial advice for four years.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said its investigation found Rory Deutsch failed to comply with financial services laws between April 2008 and the end of April this year and "there may be reason to believe that he would not comply with financial services law in the future".

It said that through his company, Romad Financial Services, Mr Deutsch sold stakes in two managed investment schemes despite lacking a licence to do so and marketed the schemes in a deceptive way.

Mr Deutsch has the right to appeal ASIC's decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

ASIC has also attempted to cancel Romad's financial services licence, but that action is stayed until a hearing at the tribunal.

In February, Romad gained approval to make the Sonray founder, Russell Johnson, an authorised representative through his private company RJ Capital.

ASIC revoked Mr Johnson's authorisation on August 1, at his request, and in September he was charged with 24 offences over Sonray's collapse, including theft and false accounting. His case returns to court next month.

Mr Deutsch had been the "key person" responsible for Romad's licence since 2004, ASIC said.

AAT records show Mr Deutsch was an "enthusiastic" supporter of investment in Norm Carey's Westpoint, one of Australia's most spectacular property flops, when he was the compliance and technical manager of another financial services company, Glenhurst.

In 2009, the tribunal banned Glenhurst's director, Anthony Kofkin, from holding a financial services licence over the company's sale of investments in Westpoint.

ASIC convinced the Victorian Supreme Court to wind up Business Strategies No. 5, a retirement village company of which Mr Deutsch was a director, in 2007.


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