The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has filed a contempt application in the Federal Court against James Mawhinney, the director of companies in the Mayfair 101 group.
The corporate regulator found that Mawhinney had failed to comply with the Court’s orders from 19 April to stop raising funds through financial products for 20 years.
ASIC also issued separate Federal Court proceedings Mawhinney, Australia-based company Eleuthera Group and UK-based Eleuthera Group.
According to these proceedings, the Eleuthera entities “made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, or conduct likely to mislead and deceive consumers, by sending emails directly to consumers regarding investment options, terms and rates of return”.
Additionally, ASIC found that Eleuthera Group carried on a financial services business in Australia without holding an Australian financial services licence when it was required to do so.
The regulator would be seeking civil penalties, injunctions preventing Mawhinney and the Eleuthera entities from promoting or soliciting funds from consumers for purported credit opportunities or similar products, and orders preventing Eleuthera Group from carrying on a financial services business in Australia.
In January, the Federal Court wound up M101 Nominees Pty Ltd, a company of which Mawhinney was the director, on just and equitable grounds and appointed Said Jahani and Philip Campbell-Wilson as liquidators.
Following this, in March, the Federal Court found companies in the Mayfair 101 Group, of which Mawhinney was also the director, made statements that were false, misleading or deceptive in advertisements for its debenture products.
“I deny ASIC’s allegations and intend on vigorously defending these proceedings so our noteholders can be made whole,” Mawhinney said in a separate media release.
He said the Mayfair Group still controlled assets worth around $100 million and that subject to defending its various proceedings, the group was on track to resume distributions and redemption payments to its noteholders in 2022.