Chapter 22 – ASIC’s Fierce Fight to block Dover’s FOI requests and Dover’s complaints

Introduction

The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act is manifest: to promote and encourage propriety in decision making, general accountability and transparency. It dies this by allowing affected persons to access relevant documents on request.

One expects cooperation from the relevant government agency. One does not expect to be lied to or misled as to the existence of requested documents.

One expects basic protections and safeguards too such as a separation or division of FOI staff from operational staff so the FOI staff cannot be influenced by the operational staff who are the objects of FOI requests. This is particularly the case in more serious matters. One does not expect the request to be handled by the same staff as to whom the request relates and/or the same staff who are handling serious litigation against the applicant.

One expects basic courtesy and common sense from the government agency. One does not expect disingenuously dishonest evasions and false explanations. None of these expectations were met when Dover requested FOI documents from ASIC over September 2018 to April 2019. It was the exact opposite, with ASIC fighting hard and dirty every step of the way.

Example one: the two pages that would strain ASIC’s resources

On 25th October 2018 Dover lodged two FOI requests. One was short and simple, at 7.05 pm, asking for two short documents which were well identified and easy for ASIC to locate and deliver. The second was submitted earlier at 2.42 pm and was more complex, and bulky.

The next day ASIC’s Mirijana Soldatic asked if Dover would mind if ASIC treated them as being one compendious request. To be helpful and agreeable Dover said yes.

Dover, as usual, wanted to do the right thing and trusted ASIC to do the right thing too. Another mistake by Dover. Never trust ASIC.

You could imagine our surprised disappointment when ASIC wrote back 29 days later to advise the new single compendious request was rejected because it would strain ASIC’s resources to provide it. Yes, ASIC first asked if we consented to a request for two short and well identified documents to be aggregated with another request. ASIC then rejected Dover’s request for those two documents on the grounds it would strain ASIC’s resources to provide them. I guess we should have known better than to act in good faith when dealing with ASIC. 

Example two: who really runs the ASIC FOI Unit?

But looking back I should not be surprised that ASIC would pull a dirty trick to evade a legitimate FOI request. I naively assumed that like most government agencies FOI requests would be handled by a separate and non-conflicted group of staff, charged with being impartial and independent of other ASIC influences. It appears this sort of separation occurs at most Government agencies, indeed its standard practice.

Indeed it seems it usually happens at ASIC, but for same strange reason was not happening for Dover. Dover’s Financial Enforcement Team was handling Dover’s FOI requests.

To help fill in the pieces, Amanda Jowett and James McAllister Harris are lawyers in ASICs Financial Services Enforcement Group (FSE). Glenn Childs is their boss, and Mirijana Soldatic is a senior manager in ASIC’s specialist FOI team.

The three FSE staff, Amanda Jowett, James McAllister Harris and Glenn Childs ran the Dover investigation and are now running the Dover litigation.

This ASIC e-mail dated 13 September 2018 records ASIC’s Dover FSE team controlling the Dover FOI process, to the extent of agreeing their involvement be hidden from Dover[1].

Dover complained to Amanda Jowett and she, not knowing Dover had the above e-mail from other ASIC sources, responded that the ASIC FSE staff were not involved in Dover’s FOI requests. I would like to think Amanda made an honest mistake and was not lying. However, Amanda’s repeated failure to respond to Dover’s repeated requests for an explanation does raise the opposite inference, ie Amanda did not make an honest mistake and was in fact lying.[2]

Dover repeatedly asked ASIC to explain why the FSE team is handling its FOI requests. Dover received the courtesy of a reply. We doubt we will. So it seems fair to say the ASIC-FSE-FOI-Black-Ops team of Jowett, McAllister Harris and Childs is still on the job deliberately frustrating Dover’s FOI requests.

Example three: A complaint without a response

On 26 November 2018 I complained to Mr Daniel Crennan QC head of ASIC’s litigation team about the above matters, and trusting that ASIC could act more professionally from here on. Unexpectedly, when presented with evidence of probable ASIC improprieties Mr Crennan failed to engage.

I reminded Mr Crennan QC of this matter on 26 December 2018.

Mr Crennan QC has still not responded. I expect he is busy prosecuting bank owned AFSLs, cancelling their licences, and accusing them of superannuation fraud. Or shouting them lunch. One has to mind one’s future, doesn’t one.

Example three: ASIC’s elusive Royal Commission Media Unit

Since the events of April, May and June 2018 Dover has been fascinated by various media references that ASIC intended to close Dover down for reasons other than the Client Protection Policy which have not yet been made public. They appeared to eminate from a specialist media unit within ASIC.

Dover decided to lodge an FOI request to obtain the documents underpinning these ASIC statements.

The first FOI request was made on 5 November 2018 and simply said “Please provide all documents created, sent or received by the ASIC Royal Commission media unit in connection with Dover Financial Advisers, Terrence McMaster, Adam Palmer, Andrew Smith and Chris Harris.”

Ten days later ASIC wrote back saying there were no such documents.

Incredulous, Dover requested a review of this decision on 15 November 2018. On 17 December 2018 Mr Philip Peck, an ASIC Authorised internal-reviewer under sub-section 54(1) of the FOI Act, responded. Straight faced, Mr Peck he wrote “ASIC does not have a Royal Commission media unit.”

Sure, ASIC does not have a Royal Commission Media Unit…. Or anything like it. Nothing. No one at ASIC was responsible for ASIC’s Royal Commission media communications.

Communications like this just happened:

Random uncoordinated and unplanned events. Chaos theory in action.

It’s a reasonable response, after all…. No need to reconcile it with the 30 July 2018 entry in ASIC’s official FOI Disclosure Log suggesting indicating there is a formal ASIC media strategy for the Financial Services Royal Commission. No point in doing that.

Example four: the very hard to find IFA magazine e-mails

Unperturbed by ASIC’s insolence, Dover persevered. We eventually discovered Mr Gervase Greene, ASIC’s National Media Manager, was responsible for ASIC’s Royal Commission media communications. On 10 January 2018 Dover wrote “Please provide all documents created by, sent by or received by Gervase Greene of the ASIC media unit and/or any other member of the ASIC media unit concerning Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd and/or Terry McMaster in the period 1 March 2018 to 10 January 2019.”

This apparently precise and simple request was dutifully declined by ASIC. Once again ASIC played the aggregation card. This simple request was aggregated with another request and declined on the grounds that, in the tired words of Mirijana Soldatic[3], responding would “substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of ASIC from its other operations”.

What a lot of nonsense.

That’s not really fair, is it? ASIC forces Dover to close, creates havoc for 410 businesses, puts 50 people out of work, 60 scholarship university students out of home and class[4] and has the time and energy to put out all sorts of incorrect media statements about Dover’s closure.

This includes the  statement closing Dover was entirely Terry McMaster’s decision[5]. A blatant lie by ASIC repeated faithfully by its media team.

But it’s too hard for ASIC to provide a few documents to help explain why it did this.

Example four: the remarkable discovery of just a few more documents

Dover decided to leave that one there. It was an ASIC brick wall. A deliberated and concerted inter-group team effort to frustrate Dover’s legitimate FOI requests.

Another path was opening up and potentially would lead to better results. On 10 November 2018 Dover requested “copies of all documents including file notes and text messages between ASIC and Independent Financial Adviser magazine or any IFA staff or consultants or related entities” obviously concerning Dover.

On 9 January 2019 ASIC responded, releasing 5 documents. Mysteriously none related to the IFA Magazine report dated 12 June 2018 that ASIC wanted to shut Dover down for compliance reasons ASIC had not yet been made public[6].

This was an inexplicable omission by ASIC: the lightest of enquiries, via Google or the IFA website would have informed the ASIC FOI staff of the missing document.

Dover immediately requested a review of this decision under section 54 of the FOI Act.

ASIC’s Justin Frank got the job. On 11 February 2018 Justin advised that, amazingly, after all, there were in fact another two documents[7]. Against all odds the documents ASIC omitted from its earlier responses detail conversations between ASIC National Media Manager Gervase Greene and the IFA’s Killian Plastow.

Killian confirms:

  1. it was “really useful” to hear what “actually happened” from ASIC
  2. he would not quote Gervase[8]
  3. ASIC confirmed it intended to cancel Dover’s licence
  4. ASIC intended to cancel Dover’s licence for reasons which had not been made public
  5. Dover wanted to continue trading for a longer period (ie four months, ie much more than the four weeks ASIC allowed)
  6. after ASIC refused Dover’s request to continue to trade for that longer period Mr McMaster chose to close the Dover licence himself[9].

These are not isolated incidents. There are many more articles recording the same false message. For example, on 25 October 2018 the ABC published an article by business reporter Andrew Robertson headed “Banking royal commission shows how financial regulators have smaller fish to fry[10].

To be clear: these e-mails and articles record ASIC’s National Media Manager, Mr Gervase Greene advising IFA Magazine journalists the decision to close Dover was made by Terry McMaster and not by ASIC. He is completely silent in the fact that ASIC forced Dover to close, telling Dover in the 1 June 2018 meeting and the 5 June 2018 (fully authorised[11]) letter confirming it was not Dover’s decision to close, it was ASIC’s decision that Dover close and ASIC would otherwise ensure Dover closed.

 

Tim Mullaly engages in more misleading and deceptive conduct

An FOI request made on 12 February 2018 confirms at 12.08 pm on Saturday 9 June 2018 Tim Mullaly, head of ASIC’s Financial Enforcement Service, presumably the senior ASIC executive who approved the 5 June 2018 letter, gave Gervase Greene and other ASIC executives false information about the circumstances of Dover’s closure.

You can read Tim Mullaly’s e-mail exchange here:

Why is Tim Mullaly’s email misleading and deceptive?

Tim is the man in charge of ASIC’s Financial Enforcement unit. He is writing to senior ASIC executives. Tim does not mention the 1 June 2018 meeting with Dover or ASIC’s 5 June 2018 letter to Dover where it was made extremely clear, aggresively and threateningly clear, that it was not Dover’s decision to close and it was ASIC’s decision that Dover had to close.

As this article published Gervase Greene rang Andrew Robertson in anger.[12] He stated ASIC’s position was that it “was entirely Terry McMaster’s idea to close Dover down”. Mr Roberston immediately e-mailed Terry to ask if this was true. Terry responded it was not, and ASIC had confirmed in writing on 5 June 2018 that Dover had no choice but to shut down.

Dover wrote to the ASIC FOI team on Thursday 22 February 2018 confirming it expected documents connected to Gervase Greene’s discussions with Andrew Roberston to be provided pursuant to Dover’s FOI request dated 11 February 2019. (This FOI request  required all relevant documents relating to Gervase Green and each of Dover and Terry McMaster.)

On 22 February Justin Frank replied saying:

“I have contacted Mr Greene and requested that he undertale a search of his records for documents that fall within the scope of your request. Mr Greene has advised that he has no such document. Further, it is Mr Greene’s recollection that the response provided to IFA on 11 June 2018 was part of a telephone conversation and that there were no file notes or other records created.”

Mr Frank does not say Mr Greene disagrees that he told the IFA magazine journalist’s that the decision to shut down Dover as entirely Mr McMaster’s decision. Mr Greene, ASIC’s National Media manager, has such signficant conversations with ABC journalists in full awareness he will be quoted in the nation’s financial planning press, and probably the wider media, and he does not even note it in his writing pad. Not one jotting…

Example five: ASIC’s FOI team has trouble understanding plain English

On 3 November 2018 Dover requested documents in ASIC’s possession regarding Dover and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Dover requested these documents because it was clear from the Royal Commission and other sources that ASIC possessed many such documents and most were critical of Dover.

On 2 January 2019, after obtaining FOS consent, ASIC responded releasing just two documents. This was obviously wrong. There were obviously many more relevant documents. On 3 January 2019 Dover wrote to ASIC explaining this and requested the original decision be reviewed. On 4 February 2019 Mr Justin Frank responded, saying he had reviewed the original decision and it was correct.

In a breath taking assault on the plain meaning of simple words, Justin concluded Dover’s request for “all documents in ASIC’s possession concerning Dover and FOS” should not be read as a request for documents concerning both Dover and FOS. Instead, he determined, it should be read as a request for “all documents in ASIC’s possession concerning either Dover or FOS”.  Yes, incredibly, he did this. Justin swapped the word “and” for the word “or” so he could pretend there were too many documents to prodice

In disbelief of Justin’s grammatical limitations, Terry took it on himself to inform both Mr Daniel Crennin, QC, and Mr James Shipton[13] of their colleagues’ shortcomings, and the need for instruction in basic comprehension. Neither responded. One doubts they spoke sternly to Justin. That’s not how they do things at ASIC. Disengenious denials of public rights are not castigated. They are celebrated.

 

Example six: obviously incomplete responses

On 3 November 2018 Dover lodged an FOI request for “… all documents sent to or received from or otherwise in your (ie ASIC’s) posession regarding Dover Financial Advisers and the Financial Ombudsman Service.”

On 2 January 2019 ASIC’s Mr Haydar Tuncer, Senior Freedom of Information Office, responded saying he had found three documents and they were

  1. a file note of a telephone call to the Financial Ombudsman Servuce dated 5 July 2018
  2. an email from ASIC to FOS dated 5 July 2018
  3. an internal email dated 5 July 2018.

Obviously this was an incomplete response. There is a long history of FOS communicating with ASIC about Dover. They seemed to enjoy it. The incompleteness was so obvious that ASIC failed to provide documents refered to in these three documents.

For example, in the 5 July 2018 email to FOS James McAllister Harris said he would be grateful to know “… the total number of complaints made in respect of Dover’s authorised representatives, the proportion of those complaints determined adversely to Dover, the total amount of the determinations adverse to Dover and whether FOS had a reason to believe that Dover did not comply with he adverse determination.”.

FOS presumably responded in writing to this important request but strangely it has not been included in ASIC’s FOI response. Why would Mr McAllister Harris want to leave this out? Is it because Dover had virtually no signficant FOS decisions? Just speculating…. Because that is the case: Dover had virtually no FOS complaints.

Example seven: ASIC, where ‘Ours are not minutes”

On 26 September 2018 Dover wrote to ASIC’s FOI team asking for, amongst other things, minutes of the meetings between ASIC’s Financial Adviser’s (or FA) team and ASIC’s Financial Services Enforcement (or FSE) team concerning Dover, Terry McMaster or Florence Tee in December 2016 and January 2017. This request was prompted by paragraph 3.3 of a document dated 29 March 2017 and headed “Stakeholder Referral to Financial Services Enforcement” which had been obtained under a previous Dover FOI request.

On 10 October 2018 the ASIC FOI team replied, saying there were no such minutes. Dover was astonished that ASIC would make such a statement. Obviously ASIC had to have minutes of the joint meetings referred to in this paragraph. How could ASIC say there were not? It looked very much like ASIC was not telling the truth: a serious round of meetings between two of ASIC’s biggest business groups over a period of two months, ending with a resolution to shut one of Australia’s largest financial planning groups down, using the nuclear warheadFederal Court injunction powers under section 1324 and section 1101B of the Corporations Act[14] against an its sole director and owner, ie Terry McMaster, and there were no minutes of these meetings?

Section 1324 and section 1101B allow the Federal Court to issue injunctions to restrain persons from providing financial services advice and to declare that a person had contravened the Corporations Act and could continue to contraven the Corporations Act[15].

Dover immediately requested a review of ASIC’s decison.

To help ASIC in its struggle to find the missing documents and meet its obligations under the FOI Act Dover added, most would think needlessly, the word “minute” should “obviously” be interpreted as meaning “minutes or other documents recording or referring to these meetings”.

Mr Philip Peck responded dutifully on 14 January 2019.

ASIC once again declined to release any documents to Dover. With remarkably ambition and agility, if without brevity or logic, Phillip pretended to reason that since the Macquarie Dictionary definition of “minute” relates only to “official records” and not to other record. ASIC did not create any official records of these meetings, only other records, there were no minutes to be released.

Yes, Mr Peck really wrote this, and you can read his exact words in the following paragraphs.

As to Dover’s suggestion that, obviously, the word “minute” should be read to include any documents recording or referring to these meetings, well, Mr Peck dealt with that just as un-persuasively. Mr Peck simply declared he did not think it was obvious, so he didn’t have to include them. And that was that.

You can read Phillip’s akward and un-compelling argument that ASIC minutes are not minutes in the extract reproduced on the left.

What can one say? Dover took this obscifuration and evasion positively: ASIC does not want Dover to know what passed between the Financial Advice group, led by Louise Macauley and Joanna Bird and the Financial Services Enforcement group, led by Tim Mullaly in December 2016.

I wonder, why would that be?

You will be pleased to hear Dover did not give up.

Example eight: lets see if we can find out why ASIC thought Terry was corrupt

On Monday 14 January 2019 Dover made a further FOI request seeking minutes of the December 2016 and January 2017 FA and FSE meetings. Dover already has some of these documents from these meetings and in summary they show ASIC staff lied to create false adverse reports on SOAs created by Terry McMaster and Florence Tee to create a case for closing Dover.

Dover is keenly interested in these documents because they appear to show Peter Kell “engaged” to note to his ASIC colleagues that Dover should be shut down.  From then on all relevant ASIC FA and FSE worked together to create a false narrative Dover had poor compliance and Terry McMaster and Florence Tee were corrupt and were pedalling superannuation scames to unsuspecting clients.[16]

Nevertheless, ASIC declined this FOI request too. On 25 January 2018 ASIC wrote to say it was aggregating this request with others to form one aggregated request and that this one aggregated request was declined on the basis that responding would strain ASIC’s resources.

Dutifully, Dover requested the ASIC FA/FSE 2016/2017 Dover minutes a fourth time on Friday 25 January 2019. To help show ASIC it was serious Dover copied its request to Tim Wilson MP, who is the Chair of the House of Representatives Economic Committee which has some oversight of ASIC, and Annelise Neilsen and James Mitchell, two journalists with an interest in this matter.

On 25 February 2019 Mirijana Soldatic, an Authorised Decision Maker under section 23(1) of the FOI Act responded. Once again ASIC declined the request, this time due to the potential to strain ASIC’s resources, because Mirijana added, “Preliminary searches indicate that there are approximately 1,600 potentially relevant documents falling within … (this request)…”.

To briefly summarize: this evidences a massive FOI misfeasance by ASIC

ASIC is doing everything possible to deny Dover FOI access to these records. Four FOI requests have been made, with each request using broader descriptions and definitions of the documents sought. ASIC has displayed admirable imagination in its four responses, ranging from its first answer that there are no minutes of these meetings, to its not obvious that word minute should include other similar documents, to its too hard, to, fourthly and finally, there are actually about 1,600 documents that fit the description but you can’t have any.

Without giving Dover anything, ASIC told Dover everything: these documents reveal ASIC executives decided as far back as late 2016 and early 2017 to shut Dover down. They now know their reasons were wrong. Rather than owning the problem, and doing the right thing, the ASIC executives are instead doubling down in a hopeless denial. Part of this denial is allowing ASIC’s Financial Services Enforcement team to control the FOI process to ensure Dover is denied access to documents it is entitled to read.

ASIC’s fierce FOI fight round 2

From: TM (Private)
Sent: Friday, March 8, 2019 3:00 PM
To: ‘foirequest@asic.gov.au’ <foirequest@asic.gov.au>
Cc: ‘professional.standards.unit@asic.gov.au’ <professional.standards.unit@asic.gov.au>
Subject: Three requests under the FOI Act

This e-mail sets out three requests for documents under the FOI Act.

Background

Since September 2018 I have been genuinely and in good faith requesting documents under the FOI Act.

The purpose of these requests is to try to understand and document why ASIC shut Dover down in June 2018. I have encountered a sturdy and organized ASIC resistance. It has been led by ASIC’s Financial Services Enforcement team, and they have engaged in a series of misleading and deceptive behaviours to allow ASIC to avoid its obligations under the FOI regime.

It has been an enlightening experience. I have learnt a lot about the character and culture of ASIC. It has also provided a lot of entertaining material for my book and I am confident there is much more where that came from. Please keep up your good efforts.

Today there are three short and simple requests. I put you on notice now your earlier written responses indicate that these requests will not unreasonably strain ASIC’s resources, so please do not try that one on. It won’t work.

The first request

Please provide a copy of the Spear report or similar report prepared by ASIC’s FSE team concerning the investigation of Terry McMaster and/or Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd for the month of August 2018.

The second request

Please provide copies of all e-mails, letters and other documents sent by ASIC to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Financial Services and Superannuation Industry in the period Monday 4 December 2017 to Friday 15 December 2017 concerning McMaster or Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd.

The third request

Please provide copies of all documents in ASIC’s possession recording communications between ASIC’s Professional Standards Unit and ASIC’s FSE unit and/or FA Unit concerning the complaint made by Terry McMaster on Sunday 24 February 2019 to ASIC’s Professional Standards Unit about ASIC’s FSE officers’ interference in the FOI requests made by Terry McMaster and Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd in the period September 2018 to February 2019.

ASIC’s FOI staff have repeatedly claimed ignorance of the meaning of the phrase “… documents concerning the…” and similar phrases. To be frank, I expect this is a deliberate lie since this phrase and similar phrases occur frequently on ASIC’s website and are clearly part of the ASIC lexicon. For completeness, in this context, these phrases mean “pertaining to, connected to, topically related to, and/or about”. If anyone at ASIC’s very diligent, genuine and professional FOI unit.

Further, I am not so silly as to think ASIC will provide these documents: obviously once again ASIC’s FSE Unit will prevail on ASIC’s FOI Unit to resist my FOIA requests. But at least I have had a go, and this e-mail and ASIC’s response will give my book a few more laughs.

As always, please feel free to ring me on 0417 451 961 if these requests are not clear. My address for your response is this e-mail address or 20 First Street Black Rock Victoria.

Kind Regards,

Terry McMaster | Director

Dover Financial Advisers Pty Ltd | ABN 87 112 139 321 | 

0415 451 961  

A change of tack: Dover moves to the ASIC’s complaints system in February 2019

It is clear FOI requests will be fought every step of the way. Realizing this, in February 2019 Dover decided it may get better results moving to the complaints system. Dover duly lodged a few complaints. Nothing complex. Dover waited, ready to refer any unsatisfied complain to Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Nothing happened. One would expect a meeting. Perhaps a request for more details. Nothing. But then on 27 March 2019 Eric Alexiades, ASIC’s Manager, Professional Standards emailed complaining that he was inundated and having trouble coping, and could Dover please formulate its complaints in one document. He undertook to continue reviewing the information previously provided by Dover.

We immediately doubted Eric’s sincerity. There were only a few documents. How hard could it be? Dover say it as nothing but a blatant filibuster. A ploy. A play for time by hitting the ball back to Dover and doing nothing in the meanwhile.

Dover responded immediately with an FOI request for documents relating to Eric’s work to date. We doubt there will be many. You. Can read Eric’s e-mail here:

That’s right. You read this correctly. Eric Alexiades, the Manager Professional Standards Unit in ASIC’s Chief Legal Office, complained about the complaints. He did not process any of them because, in his words, he felt inundated and was finding it difficult to deal with the correspondence. He instead asked if Dover could “formulate one document” ie, do his job for him and create a neat easy to read file.

It was clearly nothing more than an attempt to defer the complaints and do nothing for a few months more. It worked. Dover doubled down and created a slightly earlier version of this document and sent it by registered mail to the ASIC chairman, assistant chairman and Commissioners on 26 April 2019.

 

[1] This e-mail also raises the intriguing possibility of ASIC staff attach think nothing of using each other’s e-signatures. ASIC has banned one Dover adviser (but not 250 NAB advisers) for life for doing this.

[2] I can only wonder what ASIC would do if Dover did not respond to a complaint after four months

[3] The same ASIC staff member who claimed ASIC’s litigation team were not involved in the FOI process.

[4] Dover provided 60 Ho Chi Minh City orphaned university students with a fully funded living allowance and university scholarship. Lacking family or village financial support these orphaned students cannot otherwise attend university and had bleak life prospects. d

[5] On 5 June 2018 ASIC wrote to Dover specifically stating the decision to shut Dover was not Terry McMaster’s decision, and specifying detailed requirements. Dover had requested a stay of proceedings due to Terry McMaster’s mental and physical health after collapsing at the Royal Commission, but this request was rejected (within just one hour of being made).

[6] You can read the whole article here: ASIC clarifies its role in Dover closure

[7] You can read these two documents here: to be inserted

[8] Presumably so Mr Greene would not get into trouble for making false statements

[9] Blatantly incorrect and contradicted by ASIC’s letter to Dover dated 5 June 2018 where ASIC write Dover must shut down. See page 8.

[10] You can read the full article here: Banking royal commission shows how financial regulators have smaller fish to fry

[11] The 5 June 2018 letter had three drafts and was authorised by ASIC senior management

[12] As advised by Andrew Robertson to Terry McMaster by telephone on Thursday 22 February 2019

[13] Mr Shipton leads ASIC, and previously worked for Goldman Sachs. You can read about certain aspects of his previous career here: ASIC boss faces questions over former Goldman Sachs role and 1MDB scandal

[14] You can read an interesting article by Halseys Financial Services Lawyers of how ASIC obtained section 1324 and 1101B injunctions to prevent Park Trent Properties Group and its CEO Mr Ron Cross (who Peter Kell describes as a property spruiker: ASIC media release 28 July 2016) here: ASIC successful in … restraining sales group who encouraged investors to invest through SMSFs. It appears ASIC incorrectly believed Dover and Terry McMaster were involved in similar nefarious and egregious schemes.

[15] The other interesting case involving section 1324 and section 1101B involved Joshua Fuoco and some disgracefully dishonest schemes exploit low balance super-annuitants. You can read about these schemes here: ASIC acts against Joshua Fuoco. Intriguingly, Terry McMaster’s law firm gets a mention at paragraph 54 of the Federal Court case in a paragraph that falsely suggests McMasters’ Solicitors reviewed the offending statements of advice and were otherwise involved in these schemes. WRM v ASIC.

[16] This is explained in detail in Dover v ASIC a study in misleading and deceptive conduct Part I and Part II.

The Dover Group