Former Managing Director of Global Merces Funds charged on multiple counts

Karthik Subramanian

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) reported that Ms. Holly Marie Grofski, former managing director of Global Merces Funds, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on criminal charges.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) reported that Ms. Holly Marie Grofski, former managing director of Global Merces Funds, appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on criminal charges.

The disgraced company had had its ASIC license suspended at the beginning of last year and within a month, the company was wound up by a court order. In the middle of last year, the company had got its license canceled by ASIC.

Ms. Grofski was the managing director before it was wound up and she has been charged with one count of dishonesty or recklessly failing to discharge her duties, one count of providing false information to the company auditors, and one count of falsification of books that were submitted to the auditors.

ASIC has not revealed the details of the charges but this generally flows from the tough action that the regulatory authority has been taking to clean up the financial sector in Australia. This case pertains to the actions done in 2019.

Over the last few years, the ASIC has been coming down hard on various entities in a bid to ensure that financial companies do not take it for granted and engage in criminal activities and also in a bid to protect the consumer.

It has been regularly issuing calls to the consumers to be more aware of financial crimes and scams and protect themselves wherever possible. It has also been asking the consumer to approach the ASIC whenever they come across suspicious entities.

Australia had been a very open playground for financial entities till around 6-7 years ago but as the number of financial crimes began to increase, they have also started to tighten up their ship and have launched a series of investigations and actions against erring entities. They have also made sure that these are properly advertised so that there is maximum impact and consumers also become aware of such actions.

On the other hand, critics continue to believe that such strong regulations and actions from authorities would only discourage business and innovation. There does not seem to be anything as too much regulation and as the regulatory authorities continue to keep tightening the screws, financial firms begin to suffocate and this suffocates the much-needed innovation in the industry as well.

And then there is the usual case of companies, that want to do money laundering and other financial crimes, finding safe havens in other parts of the world which ultimately defeats the whole purpose of strict regulations.

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