ASIC media releases are point-in-time statements. Please note the date of issue and use the internal search function on the site to check for other media releases on the same or related matters.
18-153MR Former Brisbane financial adviser charged with $5.9 million fraud
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. (Refer: 16-338MR).
Editor's note 1:
At a mention on 13 July 2018, the matter was adjourned for further mention on 10 August 2018.
Editor's note 2:
At a mention on 10 August 2018, the matter was adjourned for further mention on 7 September 2018.
Editor's note 3:
At a mention on 7 September 2018, the matter was adjourned for further mention on 5 October 2018.
Editor's note 4:
On 24 September 2018, this matter was committed to the Brisbane District Court for trial.
Editor's note 5:
On 25 January 2019, the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard an application by Mr Jayaweera to vary his bail conditions to allow him to travel overseas. This application was refused by the Court.
Editor's note 6:
On 13 March 2019, the indictment was presented in relation to Mr Jayaweera. The matter was adjourned for further mention on 27 March 2019.
Editor's note 7:
At a mention on 27 March 2019, this matter was adjourned for further mention on 24 April 2019.
Editor's note 8:
On 24 April 2019, this matter was adjourned for further mention on 22 May 2019.
Editor's note 9:
On 22 May 2019, this matter was adjourned for further mention on 12 June 2019.
Editor's note 10:
On 12 June 2019, this matter was set down for trial commencing 23 September 2019.
Following an ASIC investigation and a three-week trial, former financial adviser Ben Jayaweera was found guilty of six charges of dishonestly causing detriment to clients. Mr Jayaweera has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, with a minimum period of six years to be served before becoming eligible for parole (19-285MR).