Aggregated News From Investment Management Regulators

Australia

Don George Evans sentenced for conspiring to manipulate Quantum shares

On 31 January 2023, Don George Evans of Woodlands, Western Australia, was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Western Australia to 12 months' imprisonment. Mr Evans will be released immediately upon entering into a recognisance of $5000, to be of good behaviour for two years. Mr Evans was sentenced for conspiring with former Quantum Resources Limited director Avrohom Kimelman and corporate consultant Benjamin Heath Cooper to push Quantum shares to a pre-determined price. Quantum Resources is now known as Nova Minerals Limited. Mr Evans was introduced to then-Quantum director Mr Kimelman by Mr Cooper, whose firm, Cooper Corporate & Consulting Pty Ltd,...

Wilsons Advisory and Stockbroking Ltd ACN 010 529 665 pays $548,328 infringement notice

Wilsons Advisory and Stockbroking Ltd ACN 010 529 665 (Wilsons) has paid a penalty of $548,328 to comply with an infringement notice given by the Markets Disciplinary Panel (MDP). ASIC contacted Wilsons in March 2022 after conducting a thematic review of Trade with Price Improvement (TWPI) reported by market participants. TWPI is one of the specified exceptions under Rule 6.1.1 of the ASIC Market Integrity Security Rules (Securities Markets) 2017 (the Rules) that otherwise require trades in equity market products to be matched on an order book of a market and have pre-trade transparency. A TWPI is a transaction that is...

Former Perth adviser sentenced for making unauthorised client transactions

On 31 January 2023, former financial adviser John Wertheimer was convicted and sentenced in the Perth District Court for one count of providing a financial service on behalf of a person who carries on a financial services business while unauthorised to do so and one count of engaging in dishonest conduct in relation to a financial service. Mr Wertheimer was sentenced to a total of 18 months’ imprisonment, to be released forthwith after entering into a recognisance release order in the amount of $5,000 to be of good behaviour for 18 months. Mr Wertheimer was also fined $5,000 for each...

Financial Advisers Register now displays whether financial advisers can provide tax (financial) advice

From 1 February 2023, ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register (FAR) publicly displays whether relevant providers can provide tax (financial) advice services. To provide tax (financial) advice services to retail clients, relevant providers must meet certain requirements. ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register (FAR), published on Moneysmart, now displays whether a relevant provider (that is, a person who is authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients about relevant financial products) can provide tax (financial) advice services. This information is displayed under each relevant provider’s appointment details. From 1 January 2022, advisers who provide tax (financial) advice services to retail clients, must meet the...

ASIC cancels registration of 374 SMSF auditors

ASIC has cancelled the registration of 374 auditors of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) who failed to lodge their annual statements. ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, ‘SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence and instilling trust in the SMSF sector, which holds more than $865 billion in assets in over 600,000 funds. It is crucial that SMSF auditors comply with their regulatory obligations. ASIC will continue to take action where they do not meet these obligations.’ As part of its current compliance program, ASIC communicated to over 1,400 SMSF auditors that they had outstanding annual statements. Most of these auditors...

Victorian director disqualified from managing corporations for three years

ASIC has disqualified Mr Kevin Prakash Verapen, of Montmorency, Victoria, from managing corporations for three years due to his involvement in the failure of three companies. Between August 2015 and April 2017 Mr Verapen was the director of: Hygrade Management & Software Pty Ltd ACN 133 366 453 (HMS); A&S Services Australia Pty Ltd ACN 165 857 321 (A&S); and E&A Logistics Pty Ltd ACN 607 498 555 (E&A). HMS was involved in the laser cutting business, E&A operated a truck rental business and A&S operated a pre-insolvency and advisory business. ASIC found that Mr Verapen: failed to exercise his powers and...

ASIC disqualifies director from managing corporations for five years after engaging in illegal phoenix activity

ASIC has disqualified Queensland-based director Aaron Luke Vasicek from managing companies for five years for his involvement in four failed companies. Between 2010 and 2018, Mr Vasicek was a director of: Tazzy Tyres Wholesale Pty Ltd (ACN 614 938 939) Tazzy Tyres Accessories Pty Ltd (ACN 142 192 032) Tazzy Tyres Retail Pty Ltd (ACN 614 939 614) Tazzy Tyres Pty Ltd (ACN 157 851 833) The companies provided tyre and retail services. ASIC found that Mr Vasicek: breached his directors' duties by engaging in phoenix activity when he transferred the assets of Tazzy Tyres Accessories and Tazzy Tyres to other companies...

Gold Coast director banned from providing financial services for four years

ASIC has banned a Gold Coast director of a business that leased an automated trading robot, designed to work on foreign exchange (FX) trading platforms from providing any financial services for four years. ASIC banned Gregory William Finerty, the sole director of Bradford AI, after finding he carried on a financial services business without an Australian financial services (AFS) licence and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. He is banned from controlling, whether alone or with others, an entity that carries on a financial services business and performing any function involved in carrying on a financial services business. Bradford AI leased...

Former Melbourne financial planner Bradley Grimm pleads guilty to dishonest conduct

On 20 January 2023, Mr Bradley Grimm, a former Melbourne financial planner, pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in dishonest conduct whilst running a financial services business. Mr Grimm was legally represented. This followed the listing for trial of the criminal charges against Mr Grimm to commence on 18 January 2023. Between 18 February 2015 and 12 March 2015, Mr Grimm engaged in dishonest conduct on five occasions when he transferred monies between two of his clients’ Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) to three separate companies of which he was the sole director and had little market value: Thrive Lending...

Home finance companies and directors to pay $150,000 for failing to cooperate with AFCA

Home finance companies General Commercial Group Pty Ltd (formerly known as Urban Commercial Group) and Eden Capital (Australia) Pty Ltd (formerly known as Southside Lending) have each been penalised $50,000 by the Federal Court for failing to cooperate with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). General Commercial director Dale Brendan Heremaia and his son, Eden Capital director Benjamin Eden Heremaia, were ordered to pay $30,000 and $20,000 respectively for their roles in the misconduct. For the next 12 months, both companies are restrained from engaging in credit activity and the Heremaias are restrained from being involved in any business carrying on...

Midway Limited pays $33,000 infringement notice penalty for alleged continuous disclosure breach

Australian wood-fibre processor and exporter Midway Limited has paid a $33,000 infringement notice over ASIC concerns that it failed to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations.  ASIC issued the infringement notice following an investigation into announcements made by Midway on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). ASIC alleges that on 11 February 2022, Midway became aware that sales revenue for the first half of the 2022 financial year had dropped 39.6%, materially lower than the previous corresponding period. However, Midway did not announce the revenue downturn to the ASX until it was required to release its 2022 half-year results on 24 February...

Commissioner Sean Hughes to depart ASIC

ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes will end his term as Commissioner on 3 February 2023, after accepting a role in the commercial sector. ASIC Chair Joe Longo said ‘We are grateful for the contribution Sean has made to ASIC in his role as Commissioner and wish him well in the next stage of his career.’ Mr Hughes was due to end his five-year term on 1 December 2023. The appointment of an ASIC commissioner is determined by the Treasurer. ASIC’s Commission will continue to work via a whole-of-ASIC approach, with current members Chair Longo, Deputy Chairs Sarah Court and Karen Chester, and Commissioner...

Regulator Information

Abbreviation: ASIC
Jurisdiction: Australia

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