Permanently banned former financial adviser jailed for $200k fraud, blames gambling

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A former financial adviser faces two years in jail after admitting to 18 charges of fraud and one charge of attempted fraud.

Thirty-eight year-old Mark Travis Goldenberg received the sentence in last week, according to a report in the West Australian, after defrauding two couples – one of which had to sell their home. He must also pay out more than $85,000 in compensation.

According to the West Australian report, Goldenberg was acting as a business adviser to one couple in their 70s, and was entrusted with cheques that were supposed to go towards paying off a $137,000 loan on their caravan and motor vehicle. He instead appropriated the money for his own purposes.

The District Court heard that Goldenberg committed six offences against the couple, defrauding them of $172,000 in total. They were reimbursed $127,000 by their bank, but still had to sell their home.

"This is a couple that had worked throughout their lives to build up something for their retirement and have lost everything," Judge Keen said.

Goldenberg committed the remaining offences against a couple that he met at a property investment seminar. The court heard that he went on to sign them up to a company he claimed to be affiliated with.

Previous offences

The above offences took place over the course of 2009, but Goldenberg has since been sentenced to three years and one month jail on unrelated charges of breaching his duty as a director, brought by ASIC. A reparation order of $1.7m was also made against him during last year's sentencing.

In this instance Goldenberg had pleaded guilty to 39 counts of breaching his duties as a director of Mortimer Close Pty Ltd. ASIC alleged that Mr Goldenberg breached his obligations to the company by transferring approximately $1.5m of investors’ money out of Mortimer Close for his personal benefit.

Investments in Mortimer Close were intended to be used for a land development in Wellard, south of Perth, however, the development never took place.

In September 2008, ASIC suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of financial services business Concentric Wealth Management Pty Ltd (CWM). Goldenberg was CWM’s sole director. Other ASIC and court-related actions agsinst him have included:

  • On 12 March 2009, the Federal Court ordered the appointment of a liquidator to Mortimer Close. Mr Goldenberg was Mortimer Close’s sole director.
  • On 19 May 2009, ASIC permanently banned Mr Goldenberg from providing financial services and cancelled the AFS licence of CWM. Mr Goldenberg was formerly employed as an authorised representative of CWM.
  • On 23 March 2010, ASIC disqualified Mr Goldenberg from managing corporations for five years.

At Goldenberg’s recent sentencing, the West Australian reported his defence lawyer, Abigail Rogers, as saying that he was remorseful and blamed gambling for his downfall.