ASIC has permanently banned former Sydney financial adviser Daniel Stuart McSweeny from providing financial services.
On 18 December 2018, Mr McSweeny was charged with 20 dishonesty offences and one offence of falsifying books as a company director. An investigation by ASIC led to an allegation that Mr McSweeny had dishonestly transferred or directed others to transfer funds from bank accounts holding client funds.
ASIC also alleged that Mr McSweeny directed an employee to construct a backdated Statement of Advice in response to an investigation being conducted following a complaint.
On 11 February 2020, following a two-day fitness hearing, the NSW District Court found Mr McSweeny was unfit to stand trial and unlikely to become fit in the next 12 months. In making this decision, her Honour Judge Flannery found that there was enough evidence to support the charges of dishonesty and falsifying books, in the absence of evidence from the defendant.
“ASIC determined that a permanent ban from the provision of financial services was appropriate given the court’s findings,” ASIC stated.
“Mr McSweeny has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.”
ASIC previously disqualified Mr McSweeny from managing companies for the maximum period of five years following his involvement in 14 failed companies, including an advice and accounting firm that provided SMSF services.
Mr McSweeny was an authorised representative of Australian Financial Services Group Ltd (in liquidation) between 12 April 2006 and 19 December 2012. He was also a director of FF&I Holdings Pty Ltd (in liquidation) during the period it was an authorised representative of Australian Financial Services Group Ltd between 11 May 2007 and 1 May 2013.
ASIC had found Mr McSweeny used the companies to operate a financial services business. The companies were placed into liquidation between 21 August 2014 and 8 September 2015.
The total amount of debts owed by the 14 companies to creditors amounted to about $9.8 million.
ASIC found that Mr McSweeny had fraudulently misappropriated company money, used the company structure for his own dishonest means and showed a complete disregard of his director duties.
During the relevant period, Mr McSweeny was also sole director of two trustee companies, Constantia Pty Ltd and Prettoria Pty Ltd, which are now both in liquidation.
Each company held a bank account into which client funds, mostly superannuation savings, were transferred.
Mr McSweeny’s banning is recorded on ASIC’s Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.