ASIC ban on Ponzi scheme ac­cused

Pilbara News - - NEWS - Tim Clarke

The fi­nan­cial net has tight­ened fur­ther around ac­cused Ponzi princess Veron­ica Macpher­son — who stands ac­cused of owing more than $250 mil­lion to thou­sands of in­vestors in her failed Pil­bara prop­erty scheme — af­ter she was per­ma­nently banned from pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

The Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion said last week it had found Ms Macpher­son, once the head of the Macro Realty Group, “had en­gaged in mis­lead­ing and de­cep­tive con­duct”.

“ASIC found that in re­la­tion to Ms Macpher­son’s in­volve­ment with the de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of the New­man Es­tate Project in the Pil­bara re­gion of Western Aus­tralia . . . that she was not of good fame or char­ac­ter, that she had en­gaged in dis­hon­est con­duct,” ASIC said.

Notably, ASIC also said it be­lieved Ms Macpher­son “was in­volved in a con­tra­ven­tion of fi­nan­cial ser­vices laws”.

No crim­i­nal charges have yet been laid against Ms Macpher­son, who at the height of her in­flu­ence used pic­tures of her­self din­ing with for­mer pre­mier Colin Barnett and for­mer WA Na­tion­als leader Bren­don Grylls on so­cial me­dia.

ASIC said its in­ves­ti­ga­tion was con­tin­u­ing and Ms Macpher­son had the right to ap­peal to the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ap­peals Tri­bunal for a re­view of its de­ci­sion.

Late last month, in the Fed­eral Court, Jus­tice Michael Barker reaf­firmed court or­ders that Ms Macpher­son be re­strained from pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices ad­vice, deal­ing in fi­nan­cial prod­ucts, pro­mot­ing fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and other­wise car­ry­ing on a fi­nan­cial ser­vices busi­ness.

On her on­line pres­ence, or “vcard”, Ms Macpher­son was pro­mot­ing her­self re­cently as a “cor­po­rate ad­viser . . . to do the nec­es­sary to as­sist busi­nesses with achiev­ing their goals”.

She is also pro­mot­ing a book, The Great Aus­tralian Ponzi, which is still be­ing ad­ver­tised as be­ing launched next month, with launch tick­ets priced at $40.

“The cap­i­tal­ists were to help the Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple de­velop the land, build hous­ing and make prof­its, yet what ac­tu­ally hap­pened as a re­sult of greed, cor­rup­tion and in­com­pe­tence I re­fer to as — The Great Aus­tralian Ponzi,” Ms Macpher­son wrote on­line. “I did not know what the term Ponzi meant when I was first asked to pay some­one money to not re­port to our fi­nan­cial ser­vices author­ity (ASIC) that I was run­ning one, so I looked it up on the in­ter­net.”

Ms Macpher­son is due back in court in Oc­to­ber.

Pic­ture: Me­gan Pow­ell

Veron­ica Macpher­son

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