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13-313MR Sydney adviser removed from financial services
ASIC has accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) from Sydney financial adviser Gabriel Nakhl which permanently prevents him from providing financial services.
As part of the EU, Mr Nakhl has also agreed to not manage a company for 15 years.
As part of an ongoing investigation into Mr Nakhl’s conduct over three years at SydFA Pty Limited, which is now in liquidation, ASIC is concerned Mr 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
Specifically, Mr Nakhl advised some clients, including those in self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to advance money to him so that he could invest it in a high interest rate account on their behalf and pay them a fixed return. ASIC is concerned Mr 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.’
In January 2013 ASIC started proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court and obtained court orders restraining Mr Nakhl from using his assets and those assets of investors under his company’s control. In November 2013, with Mr Nakhl’s consent, ASIC applied to have the proceedings dismissed. The court dismissed the proceedings and, accordingly, the orders lapsed. (refer: 13-023MR).
On 14 August 2020, the Court of Criminal Appeal unanimously dismissed Mr Nakhl’s appeal against a ten-year sentence with a six-year non-parole period.