Following an ASIC investigation, former financial adviser Ben Jayaweera, of Upper Mt Gravatt, has today appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with six counts of fraud involving approximately $5.9 million.
ASIC alleges that between September 2013 to October 2015, Mr Jayaweera dishonestly caused a detriment to numerous clients whilst an authorised representative of Growth Plus Financial Group Pty Limited.
Mr Jayaweera was the director of Growth Plus Financial Group Pty Ltd, which held an Australian Financial Services license and operated an unregistered managed investments scheme known as the Australian Diversified Sector Income Fund (ADSIF). ASIC alleges Mr Jayaweera represented that ADSIF was a diversified fund when in reality, he was diverting the funds of investors into a single project; an abalone farm in South Australia which was operated by entities under his control.
The charges against Mr Jayaweera are contrary to section 408C of the Criminal Code (Qld) and carry a maximum penalty of up to 12 years imprisonment.
Mr Jayaweera was granted conditional bail and the matter was adjourned until 13 July 2018.
The CDPP is prosecuting the matter.
In October 2016, ASIC commenced civil proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland against Growth Plus and Mr Jayaweera. The civil proceedings have been adjourned until a date to be fixed.