A Queensland-based man who received a permanent industry ban in 2016 has been charged with six counts of fraud involving almost $6 million.
Ben Jayaweera, the former director of the now-defunct Growth Plus Financial Group, has fronted Brisbane Magistrates Court today after ASIC alleged he had “dishonestly caused a detriment to numerous clients” during his time with the business.
Mr Jayaweera, who the regulator describes as a 'financial adviser' despite not appearing on the ASIC register, received a permanent ban after the regulator found he had recommended clients invest in an investment scheme operated by his business without reasonably assessing clients’ needs and goals.
“ASIC alleges Mr Jayaweera represented that [the investment scheme] was a diversified fund when, in reality, he was diverting the funds of investors into a single project; an abalone farm in South Australia which was operated by entities under his control,” ASIC said.
“The charges against Mr Jayaweera are contrary to section 408C of the Criminal Code (Qld) and carry a maximum penalty of up to 12 years imprisonment.”
Mr Jayaweera was granted conditional bail and the matter was adjourned until 13 July 2018, the statement said.
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