WARNING! Potential SMSF Investors At Risk

WARNING! Potential SMSF Investors At Risk

Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) investors need to be made aware of a scheme that is being promoted across the country. Investors are being advised to borrow to buy off-the-plan property, misleadingly offering high rewards and promising little to no risk.  For many, this has ended in unnecessary financial losses.

ASIC starts investigating hundreds of SMSFs

Self Managed Super Funds

The corporate regulator has launched a major investigation into hundreds of funds in a bid to uncover unlicensed SMSF advice.

As reported by ifa sister publication SMSF Adviser earlier this year, ASIC is currently conducting a major shadow shopping exercise, and has now started contacting various SMSF professionals to collate data on the set-up process of hundreds of funds, as part of a massive research project set for release later this year.


In emails seen by SMSF Adviser, it is clear ASIC has selected several hundred funds that were set up in September 2016 for random investigation, and is contacting tax agents associated with the funds.

ASIC is asking if the clients of the tax agents received any professional advice about establishing their SMSF and, if so, that the contact details are passed on.

While ASIC is gathering details about both financial advisers and accountants as part of this project, it is understood that broadly, unlicensed accountants in particular are on the regulatory radar.

The information supplied to ASIC is treated as anonymous, but the general findings will be published in a report slated for the second half of this year, an ASIC spokesperson told SMSF Adviser.

ASIC could not outline any further details of the investigation, except to confirm that it is pursuing its “major” shadow shop as announced in February, and will be looking at random samples of SMSF advice.

Despite being relatively lax in the past to instances of accountants operating outside of the accountants’ exemption in particular, BDO’s national leader for superannuation Shirley Schaefer suggested ASIC will be taking no prisoners this time around.

“I suspect a lot of accountants have sat outside the accountants’ exemption for years, and ASIC never did anything about it in the past,” Ms Schaefer told SMSF Adviser.

She acknowledged that many accountants do not agree that the SMSF services they are providing fall into the financial advice category, an argument that is largely irrelevant in 2017.

“This is not just tax advice. I certainly believe [SMSFs are] a structure not a product, but that argument is gone. There’s no point having that one again. We’ve been there and it’s gone,” Ms Schaefer said.


Article from: Independent Financial Advisor 

KATARINA TAURIAN- Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Former Wyndham Vacation Resorts Consultant, Mr Cymon Fontaine, Jailed for Defrauding Clients


Following an ASIC investigation, Mr Cymon Fontaine has been sentenced to four years' imprisonment in the Southport District Court for seven charges of fraud. 

Mr Fontaine pleaded guilty to defrauding six clients for a total of $105,910.10 and caused a loss of $4500 to another client.

Between 28 June 2011 and 1 July 2013, Mr Fontaine was an authorised representative and Corporate Upgrades Consultant for Wyndham Vacation Resorts South Pacific Limited (Wyndham), a financial services company selling time share interests in resorts and hotels.

Between April 2013 and October 2013, Mr Fontaine exploited the credibility and contacts gained from his position as a Corporate Upgrades Consultant to contact existing clients. He then offered to assist them with upgrades and the purchase of secondhand credits at a cheaper rate than that being offered by Wyndham.

Mr Fontaine used these funds for his own purposes, never purchasing the agreed secondhand credits for the clients. Once discovered, Wyndham terminated Mr Fontaine's employment on 1 July 2013. However, Mr Fontaine continued to defraud some clients after his employment was terminated.

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'This kind of dishonesty is not tolerated by ASIC or the community.'

This matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.


Mr Fontaine was charged under sections 408C(1)(d) and 408C(1)(e) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Wyndham is a developer and marketer of flexible, points-based holiday ownership products. Clients buy into different levels of memberships with Wyndham by buying 'points' or 'credits' from Wyndham. Depending on a client's level of membership (determined by the number of credits the client has) they are allowed different levels of privileges and benefits, including using their credits to stay at Wyndham's resorts and hotels or partner resorts or hotels.



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1300 095 561

ASIC permanently bans former Melbourne insurance broker Mr Anthony Doring, from providing financial services

Financial adviser

ASIC has permanently banned Mr Anthony Doring of Melbourne, Victoria, from providing financial services. Between 2009 and October 2015, Mr Doring was a manager of Phil Doring Insurance Brokers (PDIB), which provided insurance services and which had offices in Mackay and Melbourne.

ASIC has permanently banned Mr Anthony Doring of Melbourne, Victoria, from providing financial services. Between 2009 and October 2015, Mr Doring was a manager of Phil Doring Insurance Brokers (PDIB), which provided insurance services and which had offices in Mackay and Melbourne.

Following a hearing, ASIC found that Mr Doring had:

  • failed to ensure that PDIB operated pursuant to an Australian financial services (AFS) licence when providing financial services;
  • deliberately engaged in dishonest conduct by misappropriating money from the PDIB trust account, and using this to enable PDIB to continue trading;
  • cancelled client insurance policies without authorisation; and
  • failed to comply with the requirement that a person who is licenced with an AFS license lodge an annual auditor's report and financial statements with ASIC. 

In addition, Mr Doring was made bankrupt on 19 July 2016.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'The investing public needs to be able to trust those who provide financial services.'

'ASIC will act to remove those who behave without regard to their obligations to their clients from the financial services industry.'

Mr Doring's banning will be recorded on ASIC's register of financial advisers.

Mr Doring has a right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


Mr Doring failed to obtain an AFS licence for the PDIB business following the death of his father, Phillip Doring, in April 2013. Phillip Doring had held an AFS licence in his personal capacity.

In October 2015, Steadfast Group Limited, a dealer group of which PDIB was a member, reported its concerns to ASIC regarding the conduct of Mr Doring and the existence of an apparent shortfall in the PDIB trust account of between $700,000 and $1.1 million.

PDIB was placed into liquidation on 18 April 2016 with Peter Gountzos of SV Partners appointed as liquidator.

ASIC permanently bans former Easy Capital director Mr Yingjie Wang

Financial Advice

Mr Yingjie Wang (also known as Jay Wang)

A Lawyer and accountant from Sydney NSW, has been permanently banned from providing financial Services

Since June 2011, Mr Wang has been involved in the management of at least 14 companies who hold, or held, an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence. These companies include:

  • LSG Group Pty Ltd (ACN 154 582 242) (formerly known as NZ Global Financial Trading Pty Ltd and Easy Capital Global Pty Ltd);
  • Eagle Aetos Capital Pty Ltd (ACN 150 010 736) (formerly known as GSM Financial Group); and
  • Hodgson Faraday Ltd (ACN 130 606 987) (formerly known as TM Index).

ASIC found Mr Wang was dishonest in that he knowingly caused Easy Capital Global Pty Ltd to use $100,000 of an investor's money for unauthorised purposes. Mr Wang also remained silent about a representation made to this same investor concerning the money which he knew to be false.

When examined by ASIC, Mr Wang was not forthcoming about his dishonesty and ASIC therefore found that Mr Wang was not of good fame and character.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'ASIC will take action to remove dishonest persons from the financial services industry to protect the public.'

Mr Wang is seeking a review of ASIC's decision in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

16-370MR ASIC suspends AFS licence for failing to lodge financial statements

ASIC suspended the Australian financial services (AFS) licence of Parramatta-based Rural & General Insurance Broking Pty Limited (RGIB) for failing to lodge financial statements, auditor's reports and auditor's opinions for the financial years ending 30 June 2014 and 30 June 2015.

This is in breach of both its legal obligations under the Corporations Act and its licence conditions.

Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, ‘Licencees are required to lodge financial statements with ASIC to demonstrate their capacity to provide financial services. Failure to comply with reporting obligations can be an indicator of a poor compliance culture. ASIC won't hesitate to act against licensees who do not meet these important requirements.'

ASIC has suspended RGIB's licence until 5 April 2017. If they do not lodge the required documents by this date, ASIC will consider whether the licence should be cancelled.

RGIB has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.


RGIB provides general financial product advice and is authorised to deal in general insurance products. 

The annual lodgement of audited accounts is an important part of a licensee demonstrating it has adequate financial resources to provide the services covered by its licence and to conduct its business in compliance with the Corporations Act 2001.

ASIC will continue to contact AFS licensees who have not lodged audited financial statements and take appropriate action if they fail to lodge these statements.

The suspension of RGIB's licence is part of ASIC’s ongoing efforts to improve standards across the financial services industry.

Earlier this year, ASIC permanently banned the former director of RGIB, Timothy Charles Pratten of New South Wales, from providing financial services and from engaging in credit activities (16-254MR).