Mr Akhilesh Kamkolkar, of Surfers Paradise, Queensland, has pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court to two counts of engaging in dishonest conduct in relation to financial products or services, contrary to s 1041G of the Corporations Act.
A further two offences of carrying on a financial services business without a licence, contrary to s 911A of the Corporations Act, will also be considered by the Court.
Between January 2014 and February 2018, Mr Kamkolkar, as CEO and sole director of Orb Global Investments (Australia) Pty Ltd, obtained nearly one million dollars from four investors and failed to invest those funds according to their instructions.
Mr Kamkolkar represented to the four investors that the proposed investments were “not as high risk” or were “capital guaranteed”, and falsely represented that he had invested the funds and that the investments were earning returns. For at least a year following each investment, he continued to tell the investors that their funds would be repaid with significant returns.
Mr Kamkolkar provided one couple with two fabricated statements of account, which purported to show that their investments had grown significantly since investing, even though Mr Kamkolkar had used the money for other purposes.
Mr Kamkolkar falsely represented to two clients that they would be investing in commodities like oil, coffee, corn, or gold. One investor provided $449,000 to invest in the transacting of gold sourced from Africa. Mr Kamkolkar promised that the investor would receive $300,000 every quarter for 12 months and that his funds were capital guaranteed. Mr Kamkolkar received the funds into an overdrawn account and spent the funds for his own purposes or to pay back other investors. The investor never received any returns and lost the capital invested.
Mr Kamkolkar promised another of the investors a net return of 30 per cent of his capital plus original capital to be guaranteed and returned within three months. That investor lost all capital invested and received no returns. Most of the money was used by Mr Kamkolkar to pay another client within days of receipt of the funds.
This matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following an investigation and referral by ASIC.
The next Court date is on 24 March 2023 at the Sydney Downing Centre District Court.
Mr Kamkolkar was the CEO and sole director of Orb Global Investments (Australia) Pty Ltd from January 2012 to September 2019. In 2018, Orb Global went into liquidation and it was deregistered on 2 September 2019.
The maximum penalty for each offence of dishonest conduct while carrying on a financial services business during the relevant time, contrary to s 1041G of the Corporations Act, is up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $765,000 (count 1) or $810,000 (count 2) or three times the total value of the benefits received (whichever is higher).
The two counts of carrying on a financial services business without a licence, contrary to s 911A of the Corporations Act, are to be taken into account in sentencing for the dishonest conduct, pursuant to section 16BA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).