A former Melbourne-based mortgage brokerage and its director have been charged with making a false statement to the corporate regulator.
Advanced Choice Finance Pty Ltd (ACF) has been charged with one count of knowingly making a false statement in a credit licence annual compliance certificate lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
ACF director Ding (Tim) Yang has also been charged with aiding and abetting ACF in making the false statement.
ACF held an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) and Mr Yang was the sole fit and proper person and responsible manager on the licence. ACL holders are required to identify the people involved in the management of their credit businesses, known as fit and proper people.
ASIC has alleged that in or about July 2012, Mr Yang had his lender accreditation with the Bank of Melbourne terminated.
In April 2016, Mr Yang and ACF had their membership with aggregator Connective terminated.
ASIC also alleged that in January 2017, Mr Yang, on behalf of ACF, completed and lodged a credit licence annual compliance certificate with ASIC, in which he falsely certified that none of ACF’s fit and proper people had their accreditation cancelled by a lender or their membership with an aggregator terminated.
ASIC banned Mr Yang from engaging in credit activities for four years in August 2019, and cancelled ACF’s ACL.
At the time, ASIC said it had found that Mr Yang had acted dishonestly in providing false answers to ASIC in the compliance certificates for ACF.
ACL holders are required to annually lodge a licence compliance certificate with ASIC, in which they are required to certify that they are complying with their credit licence obligations.
The alleged offending is contrary to section 225(3) of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.
The matter has been adjourned to 3 February 2021 for pleas to be heard in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter after a referral from ASIC.
[Related: Ex-finance broker fined $3,000 for fraud]
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
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