Fraud case highlights need for due diligence

Fraud

Mark Steven Grevsmuhl, the superannuation fraudster who swindled 74 people, including friends and family out of $6 million, has been hit with a permanent ban by ASIC.

The ban means Grevsmuhl is prohibited from providing financial services and engaging in credit activities. This follows his conviction of multiple counts of fraud in Brisbane District Court on 8 October 2015.

He is currently serving out a prison sentence of 13 and a half years for serious misconduct involving fake superannuation investments but will be eligible for parole in April 2019

As a result of his conviction, Grevsmuhl is disqualified from acting as a director of a company until at least five years from the day he is released from prison.

ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said the permanent ban was imposed against Grevsmuhl to protect consumers. He noted that Grevsmuhl has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.

According to Colin Porter, managing director of CreditorWatch, while this is an extreme case, there is a message for small businesses dealing with the financial sector.

“It’s important to know who you’re dealing with in business, whether that’s a customer, a supplier or the individuals behind an organisation,” he said.

“Doing due diligence online is simple. At the very least, you can search the ASIC registry to confirm a business’ Financial Services Licence. Meanwhile, credit checks will reveal the ability of a person to meet financial commitments and the stability of their organisation.”