A New South Wales based accountant has appeared in court following alleged self-managed superannuation fund fraud (SMSF) worth more than $850,000.


Following an ASIC investigation, Nicholas James Ellis, of Valentine in New South Wales, appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court yesterday charged with 23 criminal counts, including 12 counts of making false and misleading statements, nine counts of fraudulently misappropriating money, one count of fraud and one count of obtaining a financial benefit by deception.


ASIC alleges that Ellis used his financial planning business 2020 Financial Solutions Pty Ltd, to advise a number of clients to open SMSFs.


ASIC then alleges that between March 2009 and June 2010 Ellis made false and misleading statements to his clients in relation to a property investment opportunity in a hotel at Tura on the New South Wales south coast.


ASIC claims Ellis used those statements as a means to raise funds from the SMSFs, and alleges he misappropriated $857,000 from investors.


ASIC alleges Ellis used more than $250,000 from the funds to pay out investors from a previous failed investment scheme he had run.


It is also alleged Ellis put the misappropriated funds towards the purchase of a home worth more than $3 million.  


Ellis is scheduled to appear in court again on 22 March.


In 2013, ASIC banned Ellis from providing financial services advice due to dishonest conduct and misleading or deceptive conduct.