Following an investigation by Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), Samuel Tessa was arrested on entry to Melbourne Airport after he failed to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 18 December 2017.
Mr Tessa was charged with five counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception. He allegedly posed as an insurance representative or broker to con businesses and individuals in the motor repair industry out of money for supposed insurance premiums.
According to ASIC, each of the charges facing Mr Tessa carries a maximum 10 years’ imprisonment, meaning if found guilty he could face as long as 50 years behind bars.
The arrest comes as ASIC attempts to enforce its Small Business Strategy, unveiled in August 2017, which aims to protect small businesses and enforce honest dealings across the business spectrum.
Following his arrest, Mr Tessa was granted conditional bail, and is due to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 29 March 2018.