On 24 February 2021, Mr Ahmed Saad, of Glenroy, Victoria, appeared in court charged with dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception for another and a further charge of attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception for another.
ASIC alleges that, while working as an authorised representative of Apogee Financial Planning Limited (Apogee), Mr Saad operated an illegal scheme providing early access to superannuation funds for his clients. Between 11 November 2016 and 13 October 2017, Mr Saad obtained $1,531,925 from Nulis Nominees (Australia) Limited (Nulis) as trustee for the MLC Super Fund on behalf of 168 clients. ASIC also alleges between 11 August 2017 and 11 October 2017, Mr Saad attempted to obtain a further $92,400 on behalf of 10 of his clients.
Mr Saad submitted applications for one-off advice fees to Nulis for providing financial services to his clients. These services were not provided and these fees were instead rebated to his clients facilitating unlawful early release of their superannuation benefits.
Each offence carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment.
Mr Saad’s conduct was reported to ASIC by Apogee.
The charges follow an investigation by ASIC and the permanent banning of Mr Saad from providing financial services in December 2018 (18-383MR).
The matter has been adjourned to a committal mention hearing on 21 April 2021 at the Magistrates Court, Victoria.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following a referral from ASIC.
From 10 April 2012 until 16 October 2017, Mr Saad and his business, Saad Wealth Management Pty Ltd, of which Mr Saad was the sole director, were authorised representatives of Apogee. In October 2017, their letter of authority was revoked by Apogee.