Permanent ban follows alleged SMSF theft

A Sydney-based financial adviser has been permanently banned for allegedly transferring client SMSF funds to the trust account of a business she controlled.

ASIC has permanently banned Sydney adviser Tram Tran, after it found the funds of her clients had been transferred without their authority to the trust account of a business for which she was the sole director and shareholder, Orchard Accountants.

ASIC has also cancelled her AFSL.

According to the corporate regulator, Tran failed to co-operate with and assist the Australian Financial Complaints Ombudsman when it looked into client complaints against her, and also failed to explain the misappropriation of her client's savings.

ASIC said Tran "failed to promptly respond to ASIC's notices to produce", and also provided false and misleading information to the regulator.

A NSW police investigation into Tran is currently underway, which ASIC said it was assisting with.

In July 2019 Tran was one of three New South Wales SMSF auditors disqualified by ASIC, with the corporate regulator ruling she was "not a fit and proper person".

Tran had already been deregistered from a statutory role by another regulator when ASIC took its action against her.

At the time, ASIC commissioner John Price noted the importance of SMSF auditors and said the regulator would always take action against those who failed to meet standards.

"SMSF auditors play a fundamental role in promoting confidence in the SMSF sector," Price said.

"ASIC will continue to take action where the conduct of SMSF auditors is inadequate."

Read more: ASICTram TranJohn PriceAustralian Financial Complaints OmbudsmanOrchard Accountants
Link to something GtpUiJVU