Mayfair 101 director James Mawhinney has been arrested and charged with four counts of engaging in dishonest conduct in the course of carrying on a financial services business.

Announced in a media release from ASIC, the corporate regulator alleged that on four occasions between 9 August 2019 and 21 April 2020, Mawhinney dishonestly misrepresented to the trustee of the IPO Wealth Fund, that the IPO Wealth Group owned two Italian companies, Poveglia S.R.L. and Retta S.R.L, when it did not.

According to ASIC, the IPO Wealth Fund was an unregistered managed investment scheme promoted by Mayfair 101. Money invested into the IPO Wealth Fund was loaned to IPO Wealth Holdings, then on-loaned to various special purpose vehicles (SPVs) which invested in different products and entities.

Following an appearance at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, Mawhinney was granted conditional bail including that he be required to remain in Australia.

Mawhinney will next appear before the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on 28 June 2024. The maximum penalty for each charge of dishonest conduct is 15 years imprisonment.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after a referral from ASIC.

The regulator first commenced proceedings against the Mayfair 101 group in 2020, alleging that its advertisements are “misleading and deceptive” with a 2022 appeal from the company dismissed by the court.