Former Queensland adviser charged with fraud

SMSF adviser fraud

A former financial adviser has been charged with fraud related to the unauthorised withdrawal of over half a million dollars from SMSF clients’ bank accounts.

Queensland-based Brett Andrew Gordon, the former director of Refocus Financial Group Pty Ltd and Diverse Capital Management Pty Ltd, was charged with 10 counts of fraud to the total value of $975,600, including the unauthorised withdrawal of $502,000 from SMSF clients’ bank accounts.

The charges were brought following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

“ASIC alleges that, between 2015 and 2017, Mr Gordon dishonestly caused a detriment to the trustees of six SMSFs by withdrawing a total of $502,000 from the SMSF bank accounts without authorisation. The trustees of these SMSFs were Mr Gordon’s clients,” the corporate regulator said.

“ASIC further alleges that, between 2016 and 2018, Mr Gordon dishonestly paid $473,600 in personal debts and expenses, as well as Refocus business expenses, from funds belonging to Diverse. Those funds had been invested by SMSF clients for the purpose of participating in property development activities to generate a return.”

The regulator first took action against Gordon for using SMSF client funds for his personal use in July 2018.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following a referral from ASIC and has been adjourned to 25 September.

Last week, an Adelaide-based financial adviser who left clients exposed to investment risks outside the parameters of their SMSF investment strategy was banned for five years by ASIC after he was found to not have acted in the best interests of clients.

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