In a significant legal development, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has taken decisive action by filing a contempt application in the Federal Court against Joshua David Fuoco, the former director of Melbourne-based Wealth & Risk Management Pty Ltd.
This legal move stems from a prior Federal Court order on February 5, 2018, which prohibited Mr. Fuoco from participating in or being associated with a financial services business for a period of ten years. ASIC alleges that, in violation of these orders, Mr. Fuoco engaged in financial services activities between March 2019 and April 2023 through five companies:
State Advice Pty Ltd, Ansa Finance Pty Ltd, AFSL Group Pty Ltd, About Advice Pty Ltd, Advice Now Pty Ltd
The initial court orders in 2018 were issued based on findings that Mr. Fuoco had breached financial services obligations and had been involved in unconscionable conduct. The penalties imposed at that time included pecuniary penalties of $650,000 on Mr. Fuoco and an additional $50,000 in costs. Furthermore, his businesses were collectively ordered to pay penalties totaling $7.15 million.
ASIC’s current legal pursuit involves seeking contempt of court orders against Mr. Fuoco. If found liable, the court has the authority to impose penalties, which may encompass fines, asset sequestration, or even a term of imprisonment. This legal action underscores ASIC’s commitment to upholding the integrity of financial regulations and ensuring compliance with court orders in the financial services sector.