ASIC has permanently banned a New Zealand man from providing financial services as a result of a conviction for serious fraud.
Shaun Gregory Morgan, a New Zealand citizen, was the subject of an ASIC consumer warning earlier this year, concerning his offering of unlicensed financial services through a number of websites that indicated companies operated by him held AFS licences and would raise funds.
ASIC’s warning, sent out in February, warned consumers that Morgan himself did not hold an AFS licence and the companies associated with him – Australian Capital Investment Group Pty Ltd and Aussie Prime Securities Pty Ltd – also did not hold an AFS licence.
However, Morgan’s history of swindling financial consumers dates back to 2009, and is international.
According to ASIC, court documents established that on 22 December 2009 Morgan pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud in the United States District Court, Central District of Utah involving false claims to be able to raise capital, and counterfeit cheques drawn on a fictitious bank.
He represented that he was an officer of First Mutual bank, a fictitious bank located in the UK. He claimed that this bank had money available to purchase companies and properties, and to provide lines of credit and real estate bonds.
The scheme required borrowers to open an account at First Mutual as collateral or an advice fee for the line of credit or underwriting of the bonds. Morgan admitted he used these deposits for his personal benefit.
As a consequence, he was sentenced to a term of 60 months imprisonment and a term of supervised release of 60 months. He was also required to forfeit US$1.06 million in cash and stock certificates along with other assets.
“ASIC will take strong action to ensure people who have a history of fraudulent conduct are not permitted to work in the financial services industry,” ASIC commissioner John Price said.
Morgan has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.