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Financial Planning
Adviser faced with further dishonesty charges

A Western Australian financial adviser has been charged with 12 more counts of dishonest conduct and three counts of false documentation in addition to previous charges for stealing super.

Rahul Goel was first charged with four counts of dishonest conduct in October 2020 after an investigation by ASIC which alleged he submitted applications to AustralianSuper for the early release of members' funds on hardship grounds and kept part of the funds as a fee before releasing it to his client.

Goel, an authorised representative of Australian Financial Directions, committed the alleged offences under his business AR Wealth and Finance. Prior, Goel was licensed by two of Australia's largest licensees, Synchron (2016-2018) and AMP (2013-2016).

ASIC was first alerted to the misconduct after AustralianSuper submitted a report in July 2019 over concerns Goel had submitted numerous applications for the release of member funds.

The report raised concerns that in the course of procuring early release, Goel or someone he worked with had misrepresented themselves to AustralianSuper as being the members in question.

ASIC also listened to sound recordings that AustralianSuper had taken of telephone calls relating to the hardship applications and alleged individuals impersonated members on some of the calls.

AustralianSuper identified up to 67 members who had been impacted by the alleged conduct and several of these members were Aboriginal people, some being residents of remote communities.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has been adjourned to 18 June 2021 for further mention.

If convicted, Goel faces a maximum penalty of 10 or 15 years for each count of dishonest conduct and seven years imprisonment for each count of false certification of documents.

Read more: AustralianSuperRahul GoelCommonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions