Renato De Maria, the sole director of Alliance Management Group Pty Ltd, formerly Alliance Insurance Broking Services Pty Ltd (AIBS), has appeared in the Mansfield Magistrates Court charged with criminal offences relating to the misuse of approximately $35 million of client monies.
ASIC alleges that between July 2016 and April 2021, Mr De Maria used his position as director of AIBS dishonestly, by misusing monies held in trust accounts on behalf of AIBS clients, by:
- authorising three withdrawals totalling $7.9 million which were ultimately transferred back to Mr De Maria via a third party and thereby contravening s184(2) of the Corporations Act;
- issuing inflated insurance invoices totalling over $4 million to four separate clients and thereby contravening ss1041G of the Act; and
- transferring over $24 million between an AIBS trust account and other accounts controlled by Mr De Maria and thereby contravening s184(2) of the Act.
Mr De Maria will next appear before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 28 June 2023.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following an investigation by ASIC.
AIBS, a proprietary company limited by shares, was incorporated on 13 December 2000 and holds an Australian Financial Services licence. AIBS’s principal business was providing insurance broking services.
On 14 May 2021, ASIC obtained urgent interim orders in the Federal Court against AIBS and Mr De Maria which were complied with and later discharged on 12 April 2022 (21-171MR).
Prior to 13 March 2019, the maximum penalty for each s184(2) offence was five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $420,000, and for each s1041G offence, the maximum penalty was 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $945,000.
For offences that occurred on or after 13 March 2019, the maximum period of imprisonment increased to 15 years imprisonment in respect of both offences.