Adviser charged following misrepresentation offences
ASIC has charged former financial planner Sam Henderson with three counts of dishonest conduct and two counts of giving a disclosure document knowing it to be defective.
The charges relate to alleged false representations made by Mr Henderson that he had a Master of Commerce, ASIC said in a statement.
The charges against Mr Henderson were mentioned at the Downing Centre Local Court on 9 June 2020.
The corporate regulator alleged that the Henderson Maxwell director engaged in dishonest conduct when he made false representations that he had a Master of Commerce:
- In PowerPoint presentations he gave to prospective clients from 2010 to 2016.
- On the Henderson Maxwell website from October 2012 to August 2016.
- On Henderson Maxwell brochures distributed between 2013 and 2016 and in an Information Memorandum dated May 2011.
Each dishonest conduct offence under s1041 G Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 4,500 penalty units.
ASIC also alleged that Mr Henderson breached s952D(2)(a)(ii) of the Corporations Act in 2014 and 2016 by giving at least two clients a Financial Services Guide containing the false representation that he held a Master of Commerce (Financial Planning).
Each s952D(2)(a)(ii) Corporations Act offence carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 200 penalty units.
The charges follow an ASIC investigation into Henderson Maxwell and Mr Henderson after evidence of misconduct was presented in the Hayne royal commission.
The investigation uncovered allegedly false representations about Mr Henderson’s qualifications made between 2010 and 2016.
Last year, SMSF adviser Tim Mackay accused Mr Henderson of misrepresenting himself as accredited with the SMSF Association in a clash on social media around false statements that appear in the biography of Mr Henderson’s published books.
In a post on LinkedIn that has since been edited, Mr Mackay, the principal and head of strategy at advice practice Quantum Financial, accused Mr Henderson of deliberately misrepresenting himself in his books The SMSF DIY Guide and The Financial Planning DIY Guide.
“ASIC is dedicated to improving standards across the financial services industry,” said ASIC deputy chair Daniel Crennan.
“These charges demonstrate that ASIC will investigate allegations of breaches of the law by financial advisers when dealing with their clients, including allegations of giving inaccurate and dishonest information.”
Mr Henderson did not enter a plea and the matter will next come before the Downing Centre Local Court on 4 August 2020.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser. Before that, he was the features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.