Ezzat-Daniel Nesseim, of Pymble, NSW, has been sentenced to a three-year intensive correctional order, including one year of home detention, for engaging in dishonest conduct and providing falsified documents to ASIC.
Between 16 August 2017 and 11 October 2017, Mr Nesseim engaged in repeated dishonest conduct, including by:
using three forged wholesale client certificates by providing them to ASIC in an attempt to influence an ASIC officer that they were genuine documents relevant to ASIC’s decision about whether to continue its investigation; and
knowingly giving ASIC false answers and information after ASIC questioned Mr Nessim, both under oath and by way of statutory notice, about the forged wholesale certificates.
Mr Nesseim also knowingly made use of other fabricated evidence, including doctored emails and purported witness statements, in a hearing before an ASIC delegate. In that hearing, Mr Nesseim knowingly gave false testimony under oath.
ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said, ‘Instead of showing the honesty and integrity required of someone who works in the financial services sector, Mr Nesseim deliberately lied to ASIC, using fabricated evidence and lied under oath in an attempt to evade ASIC’s scrutiny.
‘Where ASIC suspects someone has deliberately lied to us, either directly or by providing us with false documents, we will not hesitate to refer them for prosecution.’
Upon sentencing, Judge McGrath said that Mr Nesseim had ‘weaved a tangled web; and ultimately entangled himself in his own falsehoods. Had he admitted non-compliance with the particular disclosure requirements when first contacted, the consequences for him would not have involved a protracted investigation, compulsory hearings, strike-off and criminal prosecution for serious offences.’
Mr Nesseim is currently the General Manager of Accord Partners, a business operated by Foresight Enterprises Pty Ltd, of which Mr Nesseim is the sole director. At the time of the offending, he ran a financial services business called Smart Financial Strategies. As a result of his conviction, Mr Nesseim is automatically disqualified from managing corporations for a period of five years from the date of his conviction.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted this matter after a referral from ASIC.
Making false or misleading statements to ASIC during examinations is a breach of s64(1)(b) of the ASIC Act. Providing false or misleading information in response to an ASIC notice is a breach of s64(1)(a) of the ASIC Act.
Using fabricated evidence and giving false testimony are breaches of s35 and s36(1)(a)(ii) of the Crimes Act. Using forged documents is a contravention of s145.1(1) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
Mr Nesseim was permanently banned from providing financial services on 12 March 2018 (18-142MR). Mr Nesseim was also permanently banned from engaging in credit activities from 19 July 2019 as he was found not to be a fit and proper person to engage in credit activities.
Mr Nesseim previously held senior positions in the lending desks of major banking corporations and ran a financial planning and advisory business.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website has useful information for clients of advisers to help them understand what to do if their adviser has been banned.