Alice Springs loses AFS license while jailed director Harris Shortland awaits appeal

Rick Steves

The financial advisor was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for smuggling 40 grams of cocaine into Alice Springs, of possessing $18,000 from the sale of cocaine in Alice Springs and of supplying a commercial quantity of cocaine in the town.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has suspended the license of Alice Springs financial service provider HJ Shortland & Co Wealth Management Pty Ltd (HJ Shortland & Co) for a period of six months effective 20 June 2022.

The Australian financial services (AFS) license was suspended because HJ Shortland & Co has ceased to carry on a financial services business because its sole director, Harris Shortland, was incarcerated.

Harris Shortland has lodged an appeal, due to be heard later this year, against his conviction. The AFS license was suspended to allow time for the appeal to be heard and determined and to ensure that HJ Shortland & Co takes the necessary steps to meet the obligations of an AFS licensee before recommencing its financial services business.

Smuggled 40 grams of cocaine into Alice Springs

Financial advisor Harris Shortland was sentenced to six and a half years in prison – with an expected non-parole period of four years – for smuggling 40 grams of cocaine into Alice Springs.

A jury found Shortland guilty of importing a marketable quantity of cocaine from Los Angeles to Alice Springs inside a motorbike helmet in July 2018.

He was also found guilty of possessing $18,000 from the sale of cocaine in Alice Springs and of supplying a commercial quantity of cocaine in the town between December 2017 and July 2018.

Justice Graham Hiley handed Shortland a separate sentence for each charge, but said they would be served with a “substantial degree of concurrence”.

“Your conduct is particularly serious for a number of reasons,” Justice Hiley said. “Your involvement involved several transactions over a period of time between May and August 2018. It only ceased when police intercepted the helmet package in the middle of August. There is no reason why you may not have continued to engage in drug supply after that. You were the major beneficiary of the profits that were derived from those dealings.”

Despite the sentence, Justice Hiley described Shortland as a person of “good character” with no prior convictions and “very good” prospects of rehabilitation.

Read this next

Digital Assets secures preliminary approval to operate in Canada, one of the longest-established crypto platforms, has become the first digital asset platform to sign a Pre-‘Registration Undertaking’ with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) in Canada.

Retail FX

CySEC hits IC Markets One with regulatory warning

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has once again stepped up its fight against unauthorized brokers.


XTAGE now offers bitcoin and ether trading to 3.6M Brazilian investors

Brazilian financial services giant XP has officially launched its crypto trading platform XTAGE, which was built on major American stock exchange Nasdaq’s trading technology.

Institutional FX

FX volume drops 7pct at CLS Group in July 2022

FX settlement specialist CLS Group today reported that the executed volumes of currency trading on its platforms were notably down in July.

Digital Assets

Web3 startup PIP integrates with Binance ecosystem

Web3 payment provider PIP has announced integration with the Binance ecosystem, which allows the firm to vastly develop and propose needed products and improvements that are worthy of competing with others chains.

Industry News

Celsius $750m insurance claims are fraud, says lawyer seeking EU crypto superfund

“It is an intentional deception in aid of a billion-dollar securities offering.”

Institutional FX

DGCX brokers authorized to provide derivatives trading and clearing services

The DFM is looking to provide multiple asset classes such as; equities, ETFs, equities’ futures, crude oil futures, etc. to meet the growing demand from its diversified base of local and international investors.

Digital Assets

EQONEX leaves “crowded crypto exchange space” amid crypto winter

“The recent extreme market volatility and declining trading volumes have added to the headwinds being felt by exchange operators. We take a realistic view that our exchange will not move the needle for us financially over the near-to-medium term.”

Digital Assets

FTX and Paradigm partner for spreads trading: lower risk, lower fees

“This structured spread trading product is the first that will enable crypto investors to utilize cash and carry trades through FTX and Paradigm.”