On 9 July 2021, Mr Wael Kourieh of West Ryde New South Wales, pleaded guilty to one count of making false documents and one count of using false documents under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) in the Parramatta Local Court of NSW.
Mr Kourieh was a director of Nexus Financial Planning Pty Ltd, a financial planning practice in Sydney trading as Hillross Bella Vista, from 8 June 2010 until 14 March 2016.
Nexus purchased a client book for SuperLeader, an AMP corporate superannuation product where employers and employees could become members. Nexus received commissions (known as trail commissions containing investment and admin fees) from AMP in relation to each super member in the SuperLeader client book. Mr Kourieh was responsible for generating new business and administering the SuperLeader client book.
ASIC alleges that between about 1 September 2015 and about 10 November 2015, Mr Kourieh:
- made false documents by forging 30 member signatures on AMP superannuation investment election forms with the intention of inducing AMP employees to accept them as genuine to obtain a financial advantage, namely commissions from AMP; and
- used false documents, being the 30 AMP superannuation investment election forms, knowing them to be false, intending they be used to induce AMP employees to accept them as genuine, to obtain a financial advantage, namely commissions from AMP.
The maximum penalty for these offences is imprisonment of two years, a fine of $11,000, or both.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions following an investigation by ASIC.
The matter is listed for sentencing on 6 August 2021.