Accountant banned for six years

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ASIC has banned accountant Nicholas James Ellis, of Valentine NSW, from providing financial services for six years following an ASIC investigation.

ASIC found that between 2nd March 2009 to 29th June 2010 Ellis:

  • made dishonest statements to a client about where their money was to be invested
  • failed to invest $200,000 he received from a client, instead using it for his own advantage including paying credit card debts and purchasing personal assets
  • engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to statements made in client letters.

The money used by Ellis was transferred from an elderly client’s self-managed superannuation fund, according to ASIC.

Ellis is a director of a number of companies based in Newcastle including 2020 Financial Solutions Pty Ltd and 2020 Accountancy Solutions Pty Ltd (formerly Ellis Business Accountants Pty Ltd). At the time of the conduct Ellis and 2020 Financial Solutions Pty Ltd were authorised representatives of an Australian financial services licensee.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, "ASIC will take action to protect self-managed superannuation funds by ensuring they are not accessed and abused by unscrupulous operators like Mr Ellis.

"Those who blatantly disregard their obligations as a financial service provider will be removed from the industry. Banning orders such as this are designed to maintain confidence in the financial services industry, particularly the self-managed super fund space," Tanzer said.

Ellis has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.