Australia's corporate cop has thrown the book at a former Macquarie Bank financial adviser, charging Warren Acworth with 27 offences.
It follows Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) permanent ban of the Queensland adviser in February from providing financial services.
The charges relate to Acworth's actions between December 2015 and May 2018 when he was working as adviser with Macquarie Equities, in particular his trading activities on behalf of a client in MINI warrants (a form of derivative).
ASIC alleged the services Acworth provided were misleading and dishonest and is accusing him of misleading his clients about their portfolio's value on 19 separate occasions.
- 16 counts of making false or misleading statements contrary to sections 1041E(1) and s1311(1) of the Corporations Act with each offence carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment and/or a fine varying between $810,000 and $945,000;
- six counts of making a statement that was false contrary to section 64 of the ASIC Act (Cth) with each offence carrying a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment and/or a fine of $21,000; and
- five counts of to fraud contrary to section 408C(1)(e) of the Criminal Code (Qld) with maximum penalties varying between 14 and 20 years' imprisonment.
The matter will return to the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 29 January 2021. Mr Acworth has been placed on bail with condition that he does not leave Australia without informing the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions 21 days prior to intended travel.
Photo: Ché Lydia Xyang, via Wikimedia Commons.
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