ASIC, Compliance

Former adviser faces court

ASIC Financial adviser David Valvo

A former financial adviser has been charged with 12 counts of dishonest conduct in the course of carrying on a financial services business.

A former Sydney-based financial adviser has been charged with 12 counts of dishonest conduct for allegedly charging fraudulent fees to clients’ superannuation accounts.

David Mario Valvo appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court yesterday for offences committed between 23 July 2019 and 15 January 2020 as a former director of Your Financial Freedom Pty Ltd.

Following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the corporate regulator alleged Valvo acted dishonestly when he completed and submitted false adviser fee withdrawal forms for 12 of his clients’ Wealthtrac superannuation accounts, involving around $110,000.

The court granted Valvo conditional bail, which included the stipulation he surrenders his passport and remains in Australia, and that prohibits him from communicating with prosecution witnesses other than through his legal representatives, with the matter adjourned to 28 May for further mention.

ASIC initiated proceedings against the financial adviser in the Federal Court on 5 July 2023, with the court subsequently making orders to freeze the assets of both Valvo and Your Financial Freedom, as well as barring him from leaving Australia.

The case was scheduled for a management hearing on 29 September 2023, but was later postponed for two more hearings on 13 October and 7 November 2023. On 14 November, the Federal Court decided to extend the asset preservation orders on Valvo, which expired on 31 March 2024.

The matter will be prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. Valvo’s activities constitute breaches of section 1041 G(1) of the Corporations Act 2001, which at the time the offences occurred carried a maximum penalty of a 15-year jail sentence for each count of dishonest conduct.

In 2019, Valvo claimed he was a victim of an online scam in which he lost $50,000 via a fake trading platform, according to a report on A Current Affair.

Copyright © SMS Magazine 2024

ABN 43 564 725 109

Benchmark Media

Site design Red Cloud Digital