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17-378MR Operators of 'binary options trading boiler room' convicted and sentenced
Following an ASIC investigation, Jana Jaros and Jackson Laurence Malcolm Capper were convicted and sentenced for operating a financial services business without a licence and lodging false documents to ASIC containing false or misleading material.
Each defendant pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates' Court. Ms Jaros was sentenced to three months' imprisonment, to be released immediately. Both were sentenced but released on condition of good behaviour for three years, with Mr Capper on a $5000 bond and Ms Jaros on a $2000 bond.
ASIC alleged that Ms Jaros and Mr Capper set up the companies Astra Group Pty Ltd and Old Cambridge Pty Ltd to operate the 'boiler room' style business from Bundall on the Gold Coast. The companies employed staff to cold-call consumers and offer financial services consisting of membership packages to access software packages which would execute binary trading options.
Following complaints from the public, ASIC and the Queensland Police Service on 16 December 2015 executed a search warrant at the Bundall address and discovered the 'boiler room' business in progress. Operations ceased following the ASIC and QPS intervention.
ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'It is important that businesses seeking to avoid the protections provided by the financial services licensing regime are identified and investigated. Where these obligations are found to have been ignored, ASIC will take action against those businesses and their operators.'
This matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Between February and December 2015 Ms Jaros and Mr Capper operated an unlicenced financial services business using the companies Astra Group Pty Ltd and Old Cambridge Pty Ltd. Ms Jaros and Mr Capper arranged for these two companies to be incorporated using directors that they sourced by providing them with false information.
They further facilitated the opening of bank accounts providing these same individuals with false information. Ms Jaros and Mr Capper sourced and rented a business premises at Bundall, Gold Coast, Queensland for the conduct of their business.
Ms Jaros and Mr Capper recruited and trained staff who they instructed to cold-call persons and attempt to sell them membership in a currencies, indices and commodities trading system through a company registered in the Isle of Man that uses a website Binary.com. Staff sold packages ranging from $2,995 to $24,000 on the premise that they would set up their account with Binary and manage their account using their claimed extensive trading experience.
Ms Jaros and Mr Capper set up the website: www.investradirect.com and later www.investradirect.co for the purpose of attracting and servicing clients of Astra Group Pty Ltd and Old Cambridge Pty Ltd. Over the relevant period $520,471.33 was received across the two bank accounts.
Editor's note 1:
On 2 February 2018, ASIC permanently banned Ms Jaros and Mr Capper from providing financial services or from engaging in any credit activities following their conviction and sentence (refer: 18-034MR).