Sam Henderson faces dishonest conduct charges

10 June 2020

Former celebrity financial adviser, Sam Henderson has been charged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) with three counts of dishonest conduct and two counts of giving a disclosure document known it to be defective.

The regulator said the charges related to alleged false representations made by Henderson that he had a Master of Commerce.

It said it would be alleging that that Mr Henderson, whilst a senior financial advisor and director of Henderson Maxwell Pty Ltd), engaged in dishonest conduct when he made false representations that he had a Master of Commerce:

  • In PowerPoint presentations he gave to prospective clients from 2010 to 2016;
  • On the Henderson Maxwell website from October 2012 to August 2016; and
  • In Henderson Maxwell brochures distributed between 2013 and 2016 and in an Information Memorandum dated May 2011.
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ASIC said each dishonest conduct offence under s1041G Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) carried a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 4,500 penalty units.

The regulator said it was also alleging that Henderson breached s952D(2)(a)(ii) of the Corporations Act in 2014 and 2016 by giving at least two clients a Financial Services Guide, containing the false representation that he held a Master of Commerce (Financial Planning).

Each s952D(2)(a)(ii) Corporations Act offence carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 200 penalty units.

It said the charges followed an ASIC investigation into Henderson Maxwell and Henderson after evidence of misconduct was presented in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry which uncovered allegedly false representations about Henderson’s qualifications made between 2010 and 2016.

Commenting on the charges, ASIC deputy chair Daniel Crennan QC said they demonstrated that ASIC will investigate allegations of breaches of the law by financial advisers when dealing with their clients, including allegations of giving inaccurate and dishonest information.

The charges against Henderson were mentioned at the Downing Centre Local Court on 9 June 2020. Henderson did not enter a plea and the matter will next come before Downing Centre Local Court on 4 August 2020.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting this matter, following a referral of a brief of evidence from ASIC.

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This is now smelling like a witch hunt by ASIC. Leave the guy alone to move on.

Seriously, who would fraudulently misrepresent their qualifications other than a total fool?
No, he has to face the music!
As for the boofhead comment below about omitting qualifications you do have, I despair for the Industry.
Wait until exam dates are passed and there are Advisers and Brokers who have not done it trying to get away with still operating. ASIC will have to chase them all down just like they did with AFSLs who didn't get AFCA Membership a while back..

was a legit question about is misrepresentation a two way street. I have several academic qualifications - do I list them all on the FSG? I have but what If a FP thinks having a B App Sci (PE) does not have any bearing on his role as a FP? So they don't list it but they list others, have they mislead a client? Maybe not but its enough for ASIC to say they have. Recall its not what you say or do but also what you don't say or do that is under scrutiny.
On quals only recall one or two every proactively asking about them. And when they came up in FSG clients couldn't wait to get to what they came into see me for which definitely wasn't a recitation of my glittering academic career.
[Don't take this as any defence of someone who lists a qualification they do not have.]

agree. he has done his time. let him be.

what about all the other claims from advisers stating "multi-award-winning adviser", you mean to tell me that self-nominating and winning a dubious award is acceptable.

if you are going to claim you are an award-winning adviser, please state how you won the award as well.

otherwise, you are bringing disrepute to the profession (refer fasea std 2 part a, and 12)

I am writing to ASIC asking their analysts to troll the internet looking for these very same "award-winning" advisers and pay them a visit. we all know how that will end

Stop defending people who have done the wrong thing in our industry call them out and ask for them to be punished.

That is exactly why no one trusts financial planners to do the right thing and there is so much regulation in our industry, because everyone thinks we are happy to cover up criminal behaviour of colleagues.

People defending him should be ashamed of themselves would you be happy if a doctor/lawyer/accountant lied about their qualification in their field, NO WAY you would be up in arms calling for a criminal prosecution.

If you want Aussies to trust financial planners don’t defend the wrong doers in our industry

don't be a pathetic fool.

no one is excusing his behavior. he misrepresented his qualifications. period.

he did not do the right thing by his client, who (if she) had acted on his advice would have lost $500,000.

he owned up to it, was banned from the industry. he left the industry. get it.

he does not need to be punished again and again for the same issue.

we got it. do you get it?

he is a human being, who has owned up to his mistake, he apologized, he said he was sorry, he is remorseful, he has left the industry and is trying to share his experience with others so they don't make the same mistakes.

that is a big deal. people make mistakes, he has, he has learned from it. he needs to rebuild his life with dignity. and we need to let him.

as for your comment about doctors and lawyers, you are naive and ill-informed, they are considered professions for a reason, they do not parade people around in the media on the Sydney morning herald tearing them to shreds, they quietly discipline them and move them on. financial planning and the regulator should take heed from this practice if they want to build a credible profession as should you.

it is people like you who give financial planners a bad name. it takes great courage to accept the mistakes one has made in life, admit them, say sorry, and try to make amends for the wrongs.

capiche muchacho? with the dip rg whatever the fuck that was 146 ps 146 something fucking shit qualification you have. turd head

btw, I have no relation with Sam, I have never met the guy, I am a masters qualified fasea passed financial planner with 20 + years of history in the industry

No, he didn't "own up to it". He resigned from the FPA to try to avoid the consequences of a complaint.
He wasn't "punished" the first time. After the RC he sold his business for a tidy sum and left the Industry with no other consequences.
His staff, under his supervision, impersonated a client for goodness sake. This guy needs to face the music.

Then you’d be well versed with Standard 12 and the obligation bestowed upon all of us to uphold the industry. The guy is nothing short of a con-artist who profited greatly from his deceptive misrepresentations in his seminars and on his television appearances. Saying sorry doesn’t undo the harm you’ve done, and you can’t simply walk away from an industry to abrogate your professional and civil responsibilities. Finally if you’re going to attack someone’s qualifications... do you find it regrettable that a Masters of FP didn’t teach you grammar, punctuation or professional language skills? I do.

the greatest thing about the fasea exam is that i will continue on, and you won't be around.

goodbye "felix" the weakest link


i guarantee you, you are either very broke or on the way to being very broke.

you won't be around very long.

trust me. bye bye from financial advice.

the fasea exam was created to exit people like you from it.

bye bye filo .

Well you missed with both barrels there, jog on sport.

He absolutely did not own up to it he as other commenters have said he quit the FPA and only after the RC did he get banned he did not quit stop acting like he owned up.

So why do we have the courts and jail then we should just publicly shame people for their crimes and say that’s fine you have suffered enough no need fo you to actually go to court and have a punishment set on you.

Let’s just publicly shame people who commit theft/rape/murder that’s enough they will learn their lesson.

You are the naive fool because those professions do publicly shame any wrongdoers in their industry and we hear about it in the media all the time

It’s actually because of people like you financial planners have a bad name and know one trusts this industry and we are so heavily regulated.

People like me bring integrity and ethics into this industry.

I also don’t need to use vulgar language to try and get my point across it shows what type of a person you are

Would it be illegal NOT to list a qualification? Relevant or otherwise?

where on the FSG ? or on the adviser register. because if it is the adviser register, you are only allowed 5 spots.

I have so many qualifications even the admin lady at my dealer group was like, do you want to list them all?

I said, well they are all related to providing financial services, in the end we only picked the three most relevant for financial services on the FSG

i think you should call ASIC see what they say, they will know for sure.

"...dishonest conduct offence under s1041G Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) carried a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 4,500 penalty units"

Sure pays to be a HSU Union boss - they're able to be proven to steal over $20mill of their member's funds, get out of jail in 5 years (country club style 'jail' of course) and not have to pay a single dime back nor any penalties!!

This poor idiot just lied on a powerpoint and miscellaneous paperwork/website about a stupid commerce education - the world has gone mad! But then again unions versus planners, no surprise when it comes to ASIC's approach regardless of amounts. actual damage done etc.

Good point, I agree.

He is already banned and publicly shamed. I am no fan of him, but what is the point? To also bankrupt his family?

Sounds fair, he was going to financially disadvantage people with his advice, you reap what you sow.

Not really. If the client received any disadvantage it would have gone through AFCA and they would be put back to their original position. No lives would have been lost.

Yep, no lives lost all all - except all the Adviser suicides since the RC mate.

If a matter goes through AFCA, the complaint is accepted, and the client is put back in their "original position" then ALL Advisers and their clients pay for the problem - not just the Adviser the complaint is against. There is no 'free money'. Advisers pay through higher PI, levies and more and more regulation. Clients pay through higher fees.

Doubt that. Go back to the RC transcripts. AFCA din't exist then, secondly AFCA can't put a person back into a defined benefit account once they leave (luckily the lady involved was a lot smarter than Sam Henderson and most financial planners and just kept giving him the rope.

Commit the crime - do the time.

What's funny is he lied for 6 years - could have had the qualification by then. Also, the comments so far about 'giving the guy a break' and the 'poor' idiot only show how crooked and smelly this industry already is. He lied, big deal? A lie is a lie, if he's capable of doing that, what else hasnt he been caught for?

Phil - bit 'holier than thou' mate.

In legal latin terms ever heard of "maxim culpae poena par esto"? It means let the punishment be proportioned to the crime or more commonly let the punishment fit the crime.

Be extremely interested to see if anytime you've lied ever whether being utterly over-zealously prosecuted for the explicit purpose of being made an example of and ASIC's publicised disgusting motto of 'heads on sticks', that you would feel the same self-righteous way?

And btw, while I am definitely no fan nor like the guy and agree he should be out of our profession, I agree with the prior comment that references 'poor idiot'; it clearly exemplifies the difference in punishments meted out for various crimes.

We don't know yet whether the punishment fits the crime because he hasn't been punished yet. The courts will decide what his punishment will be if he is found guilty and then you can argue about whether it fits the crime.

What other commentators in here are suggesting is that the he shouldn't even be dragged before the courts for breaking the law. If he broke the law then he deserves to be punished and the professional body (and peers) shouldn't be defending him because it makes them all look culpable.

Yeh 'Doc' i sit round with my latin dictionary looking up latin phrases all day... LOL u pompus blowhard why don't you get off his johnson you jock rider.

Real mature Philip. Arguments about Sam's professionalism, and you write that in a professional publication for the world to read? Pity they don't prosecute idiocy. You should be real proud, wonder if your employer has read it yet?

Well why don't you report me to my boss then Peter? Oh wait, i'm self employed so that's me. I've investigated your report and quickly dismissed it. Thanks for your contribution, Petey.

Class act, you just get better and better - pity your 'clients' don't get to see these comments and what you're really like.

Utterly unprofessional and I am betting completely incompetent as well. I pity the real"Phillip Yuen' that you're besmirching by using his name, as clearly even you wouldn't be so stupid as to put your name against idiotic comments that you've made.

MM, can we have all his comments retracted, as clearly he is trying to get someone else in trouble by using that name? No one can be that immature AND unprofessional unless they had an ulterior motive.

Lol good one Peter, spit the dummy and run n ask for mummy "...MM, can you get him in trouble please?..."

Have a go at you m8 calling me unprofessional, yet you're getting personal and carrying on about my clients. I've got an idea for you Petey - don't like it? Keep scrolling and move on with your day, your time will be up soon and you don't want to waste any more of it on me.

Bet you're some struggling regional adviser that only sells Life Insurance to a handful of unlucky clients that go see you, all your comments reek of mediocrity, the sort a life long risk writer would pen.

You're an immature fool son. No dummy spitting here, just reporting the facts. Anyone who states "sit on his johnson you jock rider' is completely unprofessional and either has something wrong in his head if they state their real name or else they're putting a false name down and basically defaming someone else by using their name. Either way they shouldn't be on this forum making everyone look bad by association or be in our profession. Pity I didn't know your exact details, would happily report you under FASEA standard 12 peer professionalism. You don't belong on here (hence the comment to MM) and do nothing for our professional image.

And your bad guess about me is as accurate as the amount of brains you show or the respect you've managed to garner in this forum; nil.

I agree, MM are you reviewing the comments this 'professional' is putting on here? They're appalling!

Good to see FPA members have stood by Dante De Gori and their FPA member during this process despite the many disparaging and dividing comments around conflicts, poor dispute handling, inappropriate relationships and the CFP brand being equivalent to toilet paper. Whilst we know the Royal Commission exposure and stance on the handling of this matter ultimately lead to the FPA pulling out of a code monitoring and any chance of self regulation being flushed down the drain. I do gain comfort that FASEA will be stacked with ex Union reps and Choice Magazine reps next year..... A great outcome and finally with this Court Case being finalized we can all now move onto greater regulation one united over regulated industry.

Of note was that the FPA tried to shield Henderson and in fact lobbied hard to ASIC that Henderson NOT take the stand. Didn't want their poster boy to be found out.

is ASIC going to prosecute the FPA? I understand they also (until recently) told all prior year CFP candidates that their non-AQF accredited CFP designation was the equivalent of a masters level course?

It is probably a good idea to cancel advisers of the year awards totally; AFA and FPA. I am disturbed why a high profile person such as Henderson continue a lie. The advice he gave to a public servant which formed part of the reason why he was hauled in to testify at the Hayne Royal Inquisition , shows that he may have some real personal headspace issues. His career is ruined and his family would be having difficulties bearing his disgrace. I suggest that those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

Sam Henderson allegedly broke the law time and time again over an extended period to promote his own interests.
All those who say "Move on, he's been punished enough" are effectively arguing that a peer who allegedly deliberately broke the law should not have to face the mandated legal consequences of breaking that law. For the puerile reason either that's he's gone through enough or others have done worse.
That is a clear breach from all of you of Standard 12 of the FASEA Code of Ethics that advisers, individually & with peers, uphold & promote ethical standards & hold each other accountable for protection of the public interest. We all now know that because we've all studied for the FASEA exam and passed it.
You just don't get that times are changing and your old ways just don't cut it anymore.
You can argue all you want but if you don't know and play by the new rules, they will be coming for you next.

ASIC claims to lack time and funding. So all of their actions should be focused at the most serious issues. Is this the most serious issue on their books? This guy is already banned and publicly shamed. If they want to jail him for 40 year and fine him millions of dollars for this crime, I would expect that their to do list is otherwise empty. This is just ASIC flogging a dead horse.

Yes, I am no fan of his, however this smells of ASIC once again trying to disparage all planners by vigorously and publicly pursuing it to the detriment of other bigger issues. Maybe they should be paying more attention to Tim Wilson's enquiries which are uncovering much bigger lies by union funds to a far wider audience.

I am also concerned about the end result; if it goes through and ASIC win damages even though no client in this instance was harmed, are they yet again going to dole out millions to their Choice and industry fund aligned 'public bodies' while still gouging planners and AFSL's for ever increasing fees?

Newsflash. Members of actual professions hold their members to account and prevent other members from bringing their profession into disrepute. The apologists and excuse makers here need to go and find a new job - telephone sales anyone? Some of the comments here show how far this alleged profession has to go to win back the trust of the public.

Question for you pal.

do these "professions" air their dirty laundry in public for all to see, and to bring the entire profession into disrepute or do they do it quietly behind closed doors.

another fool, who thinks he is a professional. think deeply about what it means to be a professional and deal with other human beings with dignity.

are we animals?

You'd probably be one of the band members on the Titanic singing that song saying let's all cling together. Good on the guy. Time is over for being silent. You actually think things could be worse? We've just had a Royal Commission and as an industry we can't even negotiate an extension to a FASEA exam during a Pandemic and you're saying we should remain silent. Yet we've got FPA members paying fees year after year thinking things will change. Wake up. By the way, I've found comments like yours usually come from advisers working under a product licensee, getting BOLR, that ultimately drag us all down.

you got 6 to 12 months tops. enjoy it. I hope you enjoy bus driving just as much.

that is what you will be doing.

no fasea extension for you.

You're a clown my son. Soon I'll be sitting on a board over seeing advisers like you. Some how I think you'll be the one suffering.

I've been enjoying watching this alleged profession self immolate for years. And it remains priceless to watch the same old reptiles whining about the regulator having the temerity to hold them to account. There were so many opportunities to take the hint and self reform, all ignored, and now you're all crying about how the public sentiment has turned on you and the legislature is imposing rules on you. Boo hoo.

Have a look at page 3 of the Age today for an example of how the legal profession treats miscreants. 10 years of transgressions and still in practice until the straw that broke the camel's back. I am surprised that so many planners defer to the legal profession as the "standard" and believe they occupy the higher moral ground. I for one do not think that advisers are the devil and lawyers and doctors superior humans - they just ticked that "Law" or Medicine" box in Year 12 - they weren't better people then to those who went into other occupations and they aren't better now simply for having gone through those degrees and a "professional year"

you are on the money.

Yogi, and the profession are on their way out.

Yogi, and The profession, i mean this deeply and sincerely.

the FASEA exam was designed SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU TWO.

you both will have exited the industry by 2024, probably much sooner.


YOU won't succeed, there is no way you will.

Yogi and Profession ?? will be facing either :

a. personal bankruptcy

b. total and utter personal failure and humiliation in their personal and professional lives

c. a combination of either and b

you two won't' be around longer than 18 months. if you are come back and let me know. I will be here, I have been saying goodbye to people like you for the last 20 years. am still here, you will be long gone.

because you won't forget bobby.


bobby (p.s. I told you so numbnuts) (18 months, by the month start the count down)

Hey Anon, I am sure you are loving these personal attacks, but I think its time for a bex and a lie down for you. If you are a planner I pity your clients to have to deal with such a rude , arrogant pig like yourself. Go away please take your trolling elsewhere, like 15 kms out to sea or something.

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