Grant Thorsby Ross, also known as David Thorsby Ross, of South Melbourne pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to one count of operating a financial services business without a licence. Ross was convicted and fined $6,000.
The offence related to a scheme promoted and operated by Ross that “facilitated the illegal early release of superannuation funds of his clients through the creation of SMSFs,” ASIC said in a statement.
The corporate regulator said three breaches of the prohibition against engaging in credit activities without a licence relating to loans arranged by Ross for clients in connection with the scheme were also taken into account in sentencing.
Ross, who was sentenced on 28 April, was the former sole director of both Motabank (SA) Pty Ltd and Multimedia Marketing Pty Ltd, ASIC said.
Between 1 July 2010 and 13 November 2012, Ross placed newspaper advertisements in Victoria and South Australia offering the availability of loans dependent upon future superannuation entitlements.
“A ‘round robin’ scheme was operated by Ross whereby his clients transferred their superannuation funds into newly created SMSFs,” ASIC said.
“The SMSFs lent funds to Mr Ross’ company and then an amount, less a fee, was loaned by either Mr Ross’ company or personally by Mr Ross back to the trustees of the SMSF in their personal capacity.”
Ross has never been granted an Australian Financial Services licence or an Australian Credit Licence and has never been an authorised representative of a licensee, according to ASIC.