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.
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.