Monday 19 February 2007 LAWFUEL – Law News Network – Mr Damian Tolson, of Hawthorn, Victoria, has appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with operating a financial services business without a licence. Mr Tolson pleaded guilty to the charge. He was convicted and fined $2,500. The charge arose from an ASIC investigation into the failed Personalised Finance Solutions group of companies (PFS), all of which had been previously ordered into liquidation by the Victorian Supreme Court.
ASIC alleges Mr Tolson, a director of several of the PFS companies, encouraged people to invest their superannuation monies in property development projects being undertaken by PFS. In most cases the superannuation funds involved were self-managed, and had been set up for the investors by another PFS company. All invested monies were lost. Neither Mr Tolson, nor any other officer of the PFS companies, held an Australian financial services licence. In sentencing Mr Tolson, the Magistrate, Mr Reardon, acknowledged that Mr Tolson was naive and did not cause the monies to be lost.
Mr Reardon also commented that because of the reliance many Australians place on superannuation, it was important that only qualified people gave advice. ASIC’s Executive Director of Enforcement, Ms Jan Redfern said the case highlighted the risks of dealing with unlicensed financial service providers. The case was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. For further information contact: Jan Redfern Executive Director, Enforcement Telephone: 02 9911 2191 Mobile: 0411 119 210 Danielle Huck ASIC Media Unit Telephone: 03 9280 3407 Mobile: 0417 540 769