Sydney financial adviser Gabriel Nakhl has been permanently banned from providing financial services.
ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Nakhl, who has also agreed to not manage a company for 15 years.
As part of an ongoing investigation into Nakhl’s conduct over three years at SydFA Pty Limited, which is now in liquidation, ASIC is concerned Nakhl:
gave unauthorised financial product advice
gave financial product advice without a reasonable basis
made false and misleading statements and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, including making statements about the returns clients could expect and the risks of the investments he promoted
failed to carry out his duties as a director with necessary care and diligence, and
improperly used his position as a director to gain an advantage for himself
In particular, Nakhl advised some clients, including those SMSFs to advance money to him so he could invest it in a high interest rate account on their behalf and pay them a fixed return.
ASIC is concerned Nakhl instead spent the money, among other things, on his private sports car and motorbike hire business and himself.
"Mr Nakhl breached the trust many investors placed in him," ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
"This EU also emphasises ASIC’s recent focus on targeting misconduct within the SMSF sector.
"Setting up an SMSF is one of the most significant steps an investor can take, and where an individual or company’s conduct unlawfully puts that investment at risk, ASIC will take action."