Former Adviser Charged With Dishonesty and Defective Disclosure Offences


Well known former financial adviser and Royal Commission witness, Sam Henderson, has been charged with dishonesty and defective disclosure offences.

A statement from ASIC says that following an ASIC investigation, former Sydney financial adviser Sam Maxwell Henderson has been charged with three counts of dishonest conduct and two counts of giving a disclosure document knowing it to be defective.

ASIC says the charges relate to alleged false representations made by Henderson that he had a Master of Commerce.

ASIC alleges that Henderson, whilst a senior financial advisor and director of Henderson Maxwell Pty Ltd, engaged in dishonest conduct when he made false representations that he had a Master of Commerce:

  • In PowerPoint presentations he gave to prospective clients from 2010 to 2016
  • On the Henderson Maxwell website from October 2012 to August 2016
  • In Henderson Maxwell brochures distributed between 2013 and 2016 and in an Information Memorandum dated May 2011.

ASIC states that each dishonest conduct offence under s1041GCorporations Act 2001 (Cth) carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to 4,500 penalty units.

The statement says that ASIC also alleges that Henderson breached s952D(2)(a)(ii) of the Corporations Act in 2014 and 2016 by giving at least two clients a Financial Services Guide, containing the false representation that he held a Master of Commerce (Financial Planning).

It says that each s952D(2)(a)(ii) Corporations Act offence carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 200 penalty units.

“The charges follow an ASIC investigation into Henderson Maxwell and Mr Henderson after evidence of misconduct was presented in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Financial Services Royal Commission). This investigation uncovered allegedly false representations about Mr Henderson’s qualifications made between 2010 and 2016,” the statement adds.

Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan QC said: “ASIC is dedicated to improving standards across the financial services industry. These charges demonstrate that ASIC will investigate allegations of breaches of the law by financial advisers when dealing with their clients, including allegations of giving inaccurate and dishonest information.”

ASIC says the charges against Henderson were mentioned at the Downing Centre Local Court on 9 June 2020. Henderson did not enter a plea and the matter will next come before Downing Centre Local Court on 4 August 2020.

It says the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting this matter, following a referral of a brief of evidence from ASIC.

As background ASIC says Henderson Maxwell and Henderson were  the subjects of a Bad Advice case study inn the Financial Services Royal Commission and that in July 2019, ASIC banned Henderson from providing financial services for a period of three years.