ASIC wins fight to close three firms

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ASIC has won the fight to get three South-East Queensland based companies wound up, alleging that the firms operated an unlicensed and fraudulent financial services business – defrauding investors of approximately $1m.

The regulator carried out an investigation into Secured Collateral, Diversified Collateral and Intra Management and alleged that the companies used cold calling and a website to get investors to deposit funds into accounts held in the names of the three firms.

Investors were promised that the funds would be used to buy shares on behalf of the investors, and generate returns well above market returns.

ASIC alleged that directors of the companies – Keiron Michael Weertman, Dylan Robson and Shane Rodney Hasell – withdrew the money from bank accounts in cash. The Court noted that each director must have been aware that they were involved in some form of "unlawful exercise". ASIC’s inquiries to date have not been able to substantiate that shares were purchased on behalf of investors.

ASIC obtained Supreme Court orders against the three companies, ordering that they be wound up, that liquidators be appointed and that the firms and the individuals involved pay ASIC’s costs.

The court would not make declarations of contravention by the companies of carrying on a financial services business without an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or declarations that the directors were knowingly involved in such contraventions. The Court also declined to grant injunctions to prevent the companies or directors carrying on a financial services business, and from operating any internet websites promoting, advertising or offering financial services, without holding an AFS licence.

ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said, “While there are still funds not accounted for, today’s orders increase the likelihood that investors will see some of their investment funds returned to them. Unfortunately, with many schemes of this nature there are no returns.”

For more information:

Unlicensed financial services businesses caught red handed, $708k in limbo

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