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Adviser banned over early release scheme

An Adelaide financial adviser received a five-year ban for advising his clients to roll their super into newly established SMSFs to invest in a company he is a director of and then releasing the money to them in the form of a loan.

Antonio Simeone is said to have recommended clients roll their superannuation our of their APRA-regulated funds and into an SMSF so they could invest in Administrative Incentivised Management Systems (AIMS), which he is a director of.

He also then allowed clients to borrow some of what was invested on the understanding there was no obligation to repay it, illegally facilitating the early release of super.

ASIC said Simeone's clients assumed what they were doing was legal and appropriate. Not only did it see them breach the restrictions on the early release of super, but it also resulted in their SMSFs not satisfying the Sole Purpose Test.

"Mr Simeone's conduct demonstrated he was not adequately trained or competent, was not a fit and proper person and was likely to contravene a financial services law in the future," ASIC said.

In addition, the AFSL of his business Simeone Pty Ltd was also cancelled. He had held the licence since 1986.

Simeone was actually handed the ban and AFSL cancellation by ASIC earlier this year and sought a stay and review of the decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. In doing so, he sought to keep the ban and cancellation confidential.

On June 28, the AAT ordered there should be no stay, nor that his ban or AFSL cancellation should be confidential.

The AAT's review of ASIC's decisions remains ongoing.

Read more: ASICAATAdministrative Appeals TribunalAdministrative Incentivised Management SystemsAntonio SimeoneSole Purpose Test