SMEs seeking the help of financial services firms are being urged to check their advisers are properly registered, as an unlicensed duo face charges that could see them spend years in jail.
Jana Jaros and Jackson Laurence Malcolm Capper have been charged with operating a financial services business without holding an Australian Financial Services licence, as well as two charges of lodging false or misleading documents with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The charges relate to the operation of Astra Group and Old Cambridge.
Operating a financial services business unlicensed carries penalties of $36,000, two years’ jail, or both. A similar fine or jail term of five years, or both, applies to lodging incorrect documentation.
According to a statement by ASIC, the pair are being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
After an initial appearance at Southport Magistrates Court, the case was adjourned until 4 September 2017.
In a bid to help consumers and business owners identify who to trust with their financial queries, the ASIC website has registered investment companies and financial advisers, as well as a list of banned and disqualified directors and advisers.