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ASIC

Mayfair to appeal advertisement ruling

Mayfair appeal

Mayfair has filed a notice of appeal to overturn a court decision after claiming ASIC’s security report included errors.

Mayfair 101 has filed a notice of appeal to the Federal Court in an attempt to overturn its March 2021 decision that the investment manager’s advertising had misled and deceived investors.

Four companies in the Mayfair 101 Group were fined $30 million as a result of the finding, but Mayfair has claimed the Federal Court’s findings were made in error and should be entirely dismissed.

Mayfair stated its claims stem from the start of court proceedings by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in April 2020 against the four companies that were involved in the distribution of M+ Notes and M Core Notes under the Mayfair Platinum brand, which raised around $130 million from wholesale clients between July 2019 and April 2020.

The group added interim injunctions obtained by ASIC in April 2020 ended any further fundraising in the products and interrupted property development projects in Queensland, causing financing arrangements to go into default and impacting Mayfair noteholders who were secured by the project.

“Mayfair’s appeal claims the court erred in reaching its decision that Mayfair had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct. It claims the court’s findings were in error on all four grounds alleged by ASIC and that the matter should be dismissed with costs,” it stated.

The notice of appeal also claims three expert witness reports into the security of a Mayfair product, which had been commissioned by ASIC, were inadmissible as evidence and contained incomplete information, and the court should not have relied on a September 2020 provisional liquidators report “because it contained obvious errors”.

Mayfair 101 Group managing director James Mawhinney said the mistakes made by ASIC led the court into error.

“Our appeals are focused on highlighting the mistakes made by ASIC and those of the insolvency practitioners chosen by ASIC to critique our business. These errors strike at the heart of ASIC’s cases. They have resulted in the court being led into error and Mayfair’s noteholders being delivered a terrible injustice,” Mawhinney said.

“Our noteholders have waited for nearly two years while we get this situation put right. I thank them for their continued patience and support.”

He further noted the group has planned to additionally appeal his 20-year fundraising ban at the same time of the notice of appeal in May.

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