Former high-profile Sydney financial adviser Sam Maxwell Henderson has been charged with dishonest conduct related to alleged false representations that he held a Master of Commerce degree.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said Henderson has been charged with three counts of dishonest conduct and two counts of distributing a disclosure document knowing it to be defective, and alleged that while he was an adviser and director of Henderson Maxwell, he made the false representation in a number of client documents from 2010 to 2016.
Specifically, the corporate watchdog alleged he made the representation in PowerPoint presentations he gave to prospective clients from 2010 to 2016, on the Henderson Maxwell website from October 2012 to August 2016, in Henderson Maxwell brochures distributed between 2013 and 2016 and in an information memorandum dated May 2011.
It said each of these dishonest conduct offences breaches section 1041G of the Corporations Act and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 4500 penalty units.
Additionally, ASIC alleged Henderson gave at least two clients a financial services guide containing the false representation that he held a Master of Commerce (Financial Planning) degree and this breaches section 952D(2)(a)(ii) of the Corporations Act.
Each of these offences carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 200 penalty units.
The charges against Henderson were mentioned at the Downing Centre Local Court on 9 June and are the result of an ASIC investigation into Henderson and Henderson Maxwell following evidence of misconduct presented during the banking royal commission.
Henderson, who was banned in July 2019 from providing financial services for a period of three years, did not enter a plea and the matter will next come before Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney on 4 August.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter, following a referral of a brief of evidence from ASIC.