Ben Jayaweera,a former financial adviser based in Brisbane, Queensland, has been charged with six counts of fraud amounting to A$5.9m.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the financial regulator which set up an investigation into Jayaweera’s malpractice, alleged that between September 2013 and October 2015, Jayaweera dishonestly engaged with numerous clients while directorw of Growth Plus Financial Group, in Brisbane.
While director of Growth Plus, which held an Australian Financial Services licence, Jayaweera operated an unregistered managed investments scheme known as the Australian Diversified Sector Income Fund (ADSIF). ASIC alleges that Jayaweera was diverting investors’ funds into a single project (a farm in South Australia), rather than managing a diversified fund, as claimed.
ASIC’s charges against Jayaweera carry a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison. The case continues.