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This Week in Penalties...

Friday 4 June 2021

Grant Donley has been disqualified from managing companies for two years after the failure of Conceptual Interiors NSW, Conceptual Interiors Group and Conceptual Interiors.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) alleged that Donley:

  • allowed Conceptual Interiors NSW and Conceptual Interiors Group to trade while insolvent when the company was unable to meet its liabilities as and when they were due to be paid;
  • failed to ensure Conceptual Interiors NSW and Conceptual Interiors Group met their tax obligations and failed to maintain adequate record keeping; and
  • failed to exercise his powers and discharge his duties as a director of Conceptual Interiors NSW and Conceptual Interiors with care and diligence by failing to ensure the companies paid their taxes and income tax returns for the financial years prior to the winding up of the companies.

Former adviser Nathan Smith has been banned for three years from providing financial services for not providing appropriate advice to his clients. 

According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC):

Mr Smith did not consider his clients’ existing products when making recommendations to switch products and did not align recommended investment strategies with client risk profiles. He also failed to properly disclose in advice documents all the costs and significant consequences of switching products.

Forex Capital Trading to pay a $20 million penalty and the company’s director, Shlomo Yoshai, to pay a $400, 000 penalty. 

The federal court ruled that Forex Capital Trading engaged in systemic unconscionable conduct and paid conflicted remuneration to its team leaders. 
In addition to the 400,000 penalty, Yoshai has also been banned from managing companies for eight years for breaching his duties as a director. 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Commissioner Cathie Armour said in an official statement this week, “The significant penalty handed down by the Court reflects the seriousness of this conduct. If corporations disregard the law and their client obligations, ASIC will take action and the consequences can be severe.”

Former responsible manager John Martin Carlton has been banned from providing financial services for ten years and disqualified from managing corporations for five years. 

The Australian Securities and Investments commission (ASIC) said in an official statement, “ASIC found Mr Martin’s lack of understanding or regard for compliance was so serious it justified the making of significant banning and disqualification orders”.

The Federal Court has ordered Dodo Services and Primus Telecommunication Services to pay $1.5 million and $1 million in penalties, respectively, for misleading claims about their NBN speeds. 

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) the two members of Vocus group admitted that their speed claims between the period of the March 2018 to April 2019 was misleading ‘because they were not based on an appropriate testing methodology’.