Unlicensed financial services businesses caught red handed, $708k in limbo
By WP | 5/11/2012 8:00:00 AM | 3 comments
They were unlicensed and pressured their cold calling victims into handing over more than $1m, it has been claimed. But that’s just the beginning of the story…
Three Brisbane-based unlicensed financial services businesses have been tracked down by ASIC, and had their accounts frozen.
Court orders obtained by the regulator have also prevented the accused from carrying on their activities until further notice.
ASIC alleges a cold calling and website strategy was used to induce investors to deposit funds into a number of bank accounts held in the names of three companies – Secured Collateral Pty Ltd, Diversified Collateral Pty Ltd, Intra Management Pty Ltd.
The allegations add that, despite none of the companies holding an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or being authorised through an AFS licensee, investors were promised that the funds would be used to buy shares on their behalf – and would generate returns well above markets.
“ASIC further alleged that Messrs Weertman, Robson and Hasell, the sole directors of Secured Collateral, Diversified Collateral and Intra Management, respectively, withdrew the money from company bank accounts in cash,” added an ASIC statement.
“ASIC’s enquiries to date have not been able to substantiate that shares were purchased by Secured Collateral, Diversified Collateral and Intra Management on behalf of investors. ASIC is aware at this stage of its investigation that between late May 2012 to mid-October 2012 approximately $1,001,000 had been deposited to the accounts and approximately $708,000 of those funds has been withdrawn.”
The remaining $273,000 held in the accounts has been frozen, and Weertman Robson and Hasell are prohibited from leaving Australia without the consent of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Alleycat on 08 Nov 2012 10:32 AM
Why don't you call them what they were, a bunch of Conmen. Being unlicensed and calling them part of the financial services industry is a paradox. A complete misrepresentation of the situation.
How are these people any different than say a Nigerian scam, a fraudulent real estate deal, or any other con job.
I think this kind of reporting whilst performing a public service has the ability to tarnish the financial planning industry unfairly.
Michael Langtry on 08 Nov 2012 11:04 AM
Yes, but as usual, ASIC have acted after the damage has been done. I wish ASIC had the capacity to prevent this sort of activity.