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ASIC chases $12m from Mayfair

The regulator claims Mayfair 101 entities should have to pay approximately $12 million in fines for misleading and deceptive conduct, but Mayfair founder James Mawhinney maintains there was no wrongdoing.

ASIC is seeking $12 million in penalties from Mayfair Wealth Partners, M101 Holdings, M101 Nominees (which is in liquidation) and Online Investments.

The entities are accused of 'misleading and deceptive' conduct in relation to Mayfair's advertising of what it described as fixed-interest investment products, the M Core Notes and the M+ Notes. The notes allegedly funded a range of investments including the purchase of tourism properties at Mission Beach and Dunk Island in Queensland.

ASIC has previously said Mayfair investor losses could total $211 million.

However, Mawhinney maintains there were no investor losses and has claimed ASIC cannot prove losses.

ASIC has also accused Mawhinney of squirrelling money away in the British Virgin Islands, which Mawhinney also denies.

ASIC banned Mawhinney from fundraising and promoting investment products for 20 years in April.

A ruling on the fine, if any, Mayfair entities will be culpable for is still pending with the latest hearing ending on October 5.

Mawhinney was cross-examined by ASIC lawyers on September 30. He claimed this was the first time the regulator has interviewed him.

"Due to a range of ASIC's actions, we have been unable to fund a legal defence until this penalty hearing [...] ASIC even challenged our ability to obtain funding to pay for legal representation. We are now fighting back against the limitless resources of this government department to ensure our assets are protected and noteholders can be made whole," Mawhinney said in a media release.

Read more: ASICMawhinneyJames MawhinneyMayfair Wealth PartnersM Core NotesDunk IslandM101 HoldingsMission Beach