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Financial adviser, business face court for alleged SMSF misappropriation

Scales of Justice

A Queensland financial planning business is facing court for allegedly using SMSF client funds for private purposes.

According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Refocus Financial Group, former financial adviser Brett Andrew Gordon and his partner Heather Jane Swift, director of Consultia Super, allegedly used funds loaned by SMSFs for private use.

Between 28 June 2014 and 26 August 2017, ASIC alleged that Mr Gordon and Refocus, as authorised representatives of Solar Financial Advisory, encouraged clients set up SMSFs and make unsecured loans to a related company, Diverse Capital Management, to undertake a property development.

The regulator alleged that at least 10 clients loaned $1.4 million to Diverse based on Mr Gordon’s advice. However, those funds, which remain outstanding, were used as working capital for Refocus and for Mr Gordon’s personal use.

Ms Swift also allegedly received and used funds from Diverse for personal use.

Additionally, Mr Gordon is accused of providing continued financial services despite not being licensed.

ASIC, which has begun proceedings against the parties in the Supreme Court of Queensland, is seeking to appoint a liquidator for Refocus and Consultia. Diverse was placed into liquidation in May.

The regulatory also wants to stop Mr Gordon and Ms Swift from using their assets and prevent Mr Gordon from providing financial services.

The Supreme Court in Brisbane will hear the matter on 11 July, while ASIC’s investigation continues.

Financial adviser, business face court for alleged SMSF misappropriation
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