ASIC dismantles online fraud syndicate

17 September 2019

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced it brought to justice a 21-year-old woman from Melbourne in relation to an online fraud syndicate which resulted in alleged thefts from superannuation and share trading accounts.

The regulator, which was conducting investigations together with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), said the woman had worked as part of a syndicate which used fraudulently-obtained identities to commit large-scale online fraud such as alleged purchases from dark net marketplaces.

The investigation further uncovered at least 70 bank accounts which had been created with the help of fraudulently-obtained identities.

Related News:

Also, ASIC and the AFP alleged the syndicate had committed cybercrime offences to illegally steal money from the superannuation accounts of these victims, and from their share-trading accounts in ASX-listed companies.

Further to this, the syndicate laundered the stolen funds through an overseas contact to purchase untraceable assets such as jewellery and it was believed the money was then transferred back to Australia through cryptocurrencies.

“The consequences of the breaches we have discovered are far-reaching, and can be traced back to cybercrime offences that impact everyday Australians,” AFP manager cyber crime operations, acting commander Chris Goldsmith, said.

“Cybersecurity threats such as data breaches and financial system attacks are a major concern for ASIC and we will continue to pursue not only cyber-related market and superannuation offending but also the need for institutions to maintain their obligations to ensure they have adequate cyber resilience,” added ASIC deputy chair, Daniel Crennan.

Recommended for you




So who discovered it - ASIC or the FP?

“The consequences of the breaches we have discovered are far-reaching, and can be traced back to cybercrime offences that impact everyday Australians,” AFP manager cyber crime operations, acting commander Chris Goldsmith, said.
Either way, the money of the victims is likely to never be seen again - another consequence of making licensed advice so unpopular and hard?

Oh the irony. ASIC are putting pressure on super funds to make it difficult for clients to pay their advisers via fees from their super. Meanwhile, a 21 year old comes along and rips tens of millions out of super accounts. ASIC's priorities are completely out of whack. Their unhealthy obsession with independent financial planners, and the fees we charge, needs to end. This scam could have been prevented very easily if ASIC was on the ball.

smsf's for everyone

How about the headline " ASIC misses fraud scheme, intervenes after client money is gone". Why give the regulator a part on the back? They have failed yet again in early prevention and it tarnishes the rest of us. Isn't funny how easy it is for a 21 yr old to steal millions of dollars under the supposed surveillance systems of the regulator, because the regulator is too busy checking SOA disclosures, losing in court and courtin the public through the media . Their priorities are totally warped.

Our office detected a fraud when QSuper sent us a rollover request for one of our clients. When we queried, we were told that she was setting up a SMSF (in Adelaide of all places even though we are all Qld based and her employment and residential address that QSuper had on file were still Qld) and they were collating all the super to effect the transfer and roll-over, which in itself was highly irregular.

We put an immediate halt to QSuper's actions, contacted the client who knew nothing of the SMSF, and then we escalated this with QSuper's legal, compliance and ultimately 'special projects' division. We also contacted her accounting firm, and prior accounting firm so they were up to speed on this, especially as it transpired that the likely source of data breach was her prior accounting firm. Throughout we kept the client informed, but also importantly, reassured that no money had been transferred.

If it weren't for our involvement the industry fund would have blindly obliged the fraudster to the tune of $950k+ with the client having little to no recourse of recovery.

Ultimately the AFP were also involved, as well as the client now suffering through the pain of establishing a new TFN (and for anyone who has experience with this, ongoing pain due to the super intensive security checks every time anything that involves a TFN is needed, even if it is a query to the ATO etc).

ASIC have this blind penchant to industry funds being infallible, and all planners being crooks. Clearly, as per the above, we all know this isn't the case.

The current mindset and utterly prejudiced culture inside ASIC has to stop. They need to reevaluate themselves and their ethos, as much as our profession is now being forced to do.

even if half of what is being alleged about terry mcmaster about asic senior executives is true, ASIC need a complete clean out.

the only problem is what will these people do. they won't find employment anywhere. who would want them. and that is the reason they are at asic in the first place.

Is Terry McMaster writing a book?

Interesting I can read all about his in the Financial Review and the SMH, but Aunty ABC has not given it a moment. This is a significant event. Adele Ferguson come and investigate the matter and lets find out what has happened. How was this allowed to happen, what security was breached, how were the super funds caught out. How does a 21 year old break through the "secure" systems of many super funds.

Maybe because it is industry funds caught up in the scam? Don't see them mentioned above either.

Add new comment