‘Round robin’ schemer convicted in Melbourne court

A Victorian man, who allegedly ran a ‘round robin’ scheme, has been convicted and fined $6,000 for operating a financial services business without a licence, ASIC has said.

In a statement yesterday, the corporate regulator said Grant Thorsby Ross pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

The offence related to a scheme promoted and operated by Mr Ross that facilitated the illegal early release of his clients’ superannuation funds through the creation of SMSFs.

Mr Ross was the former director of both Motabank Pty Ltd and Multimedia Marketing Pty Ltd.

Between 1 July 2010 and 13 November 2012, he placed newspaper advertisements in Victoria and South Australia offering the availability of loans dependent upon future superannuation entitlements, ASIC’s statement said.

As part of Mr Ross’ scheme, clients transferred their superannuation funds into newly-created SMSFs. The SMSFs lent funds to Mr Ross’ company and then an amount, less a fee, was loaned by Mr Ross back to the trustees of the SMSF in their personal capacity, ASIC said.

Mr Ross was never granted an AFSL and has never been an authorised representative of a licensee, the statement said.

ASIC's investigation arose from an intelligence report lodged by the Australian Taxation Office, which raised concerns about Mr Ross' conduct.

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said, “Mr Ross exploited the trust he instilled in clients by promoting and operating an illegal scheme that exposed his clients to potential legal and financial risk.

“Consumers are urged to deal only with licensed representatives of the financial services and credit industries.”

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