Court freezes funds and suspends websites for suspected fraudulent investment businesses

On 13 October 2020, on application by ASIC, the Federal Court made orders restraining Matthew Alan Beresford from carrying on a financial services business and suspending the websites of Maxwell Financial Services and Asset Capital Holdings.

The Federal Court also made orders to freeze all bank accounts associated with Maxwell Financial Services and Asset Capital Holdings and has restrained Mr Beresford from travelling outside of Australia.

ASIC alleges, in late 2019, Mr Beresford established Maxwell Financial Services which offered financial services, including the opportunity to invest in financial products with high annual returns. He offered these products and services through a website, a Facebook page and advertised on Melbourne radio station, 3AW.

The Maxwell Financial Services website stated that its representatives held an Australian financial services licence (AFSL) and that the business was associated with ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). ASIC alleges that these representations are false and that the business has been operating without the necessary AFSL. ASIC also alleges that a significant amount of money raised from retail investors has been dissipated.

ASIC further alleges that another business, and associated website, called Asset Capital Holdings, was established by Mr Beresford in September 2020 and offered financial services without holding the necessary AFSL.

On 20 October 2020, the Federal Court extended the orders restraining Mr Beresford from carrying on a financial services business and freezing relevant bank accounts and requested that the webhost of the Maxwell Financial Services website make it inaccessible to the public. The matter is listed for a further hearing in the Federal Court on 8 February 2021.

Mr Beresford has been arrested and charged.

If you believe you have lost money associated with this matter, we encourage you to report misconduct to ASIC via ASIC’s website.

This action is not related to the following companies:

  • Maxwell Financial Services Pty Ltd ACN 109 836 400, which holds an Australian credit licence; or
  • Asset Capital Holdings Pty Ltd ACN 104 792 234.

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