ASIC has brought criminal charges against a company director after he engaged in credit activity without a licence.
Mr Grant Thorsby Ross (also known as David Thorsby Ross), former sole director of both Motabank (SA) Pty Ltd and Multimedia Marketing Pty Ltd (deregistered), was charged with three counts of engaging in a credit activity without a licence by performing the obligations of a credit provider and being a credit provider under a credit contract.
According to an ASIC statement, Mr Ross was also charged with one count of carrying on a financial services business without a licence by recommending to clients they dispose of their superannuation funds, which were then used to access loan funds.
The matter was administratively adjourned to the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 29 January 2016. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
ASIC alleges that between 1 July 2010 and 13 November 2012, Grant Thorsby Ross placed newspaper advertisements in Victoria and South Australia offering the availability of loans dependent upon future superannuation entitlements.
When contacted by potential clients, Mr Ross allegedly promoted and operated a scheme facilitating the illegal early release of superannuation through the creation of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).
ASIC further alleges that a 'round robin' scheme was operated by Mr Ross whereby his clients would transfer their superannuation funds into newly created SMSFs.
The SMSFs would loan funds to Mr Ross' company and then an amount, less a fee, was loaned by either Mr Ross's company or personally by Mr Ross back to the trustees of the SMSF in their personal capacity, according to the corporate watchdog.
Mr Ross does not hold and has never been granted an Australian financial services licence or an Australian credit licence.
ASIC's investigation arose from an intelligence report lodged by the Australian Taxation Office which raised concerns about Mr Ross' conduct.
Each charge in relation to carrying on a financial services business without a licence carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a fine of 200 penalty units.
Each charge in relation to engaging in a credit activity without a licence carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a fine of 200 penalty units.
[Related: ASIC bans Brisbane mortgage broker]
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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