ASIC brings charges against third person involved in Courtenay House $180 million FX Ponzi scheme

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today announced criminal charges against David Sipina, former Courtenay House Director. Sipina is the third person charged with criminal offences relating to the Courtenay House group $180 million forex Ponzi scheme.

The Aussie regulator noted that that Sipina may be facing a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and/or a $810,000 fine.

ASIC revealed that Sipina appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court on 21 February 2023 and is facing charges of carrying on a financial services business without a licence, dealing in the proceeds of crime worth $1 million or more, and engaging in dishonest conduct in relation to a financial product or service.

ASIC ban

The allegations against Sipina are related to Courtenay House’s illegal activities, which took place between June 2015 and April 2017. The regulator called Courtenay House’s operation, a Ponzi scheme. The court alleges that the group convinced at least 585 investors to invest more than $180 million based on false representations that their money would be traded in the FX and futures markets. However, it was discovered that only a small proportion of funds were traded as promised and the majority of new funds were used to pay older investors.

ASIC alleged that Sipina obtained personal information from investors through false pretences and used it to deceive representatives of the responsible entity for the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund. Moreover, the regulator claims that Sipina dealt with money or other property, which he knew to be the proceeds of crime, in the form of commissions he received for promoting investments in Courtenay House.

The charges against Sipina follow those of former director Tony Iervasi and former contractor Athan Papoulias were both charged. In November 2022 Iervasi was found guilty and Papoulias filed a guilty plea a month later.

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