James Mawhinney is suing ASIC and its deputy chair Sarah Court for defamation in relation to wording used in a media release published by the regulator last month.
On 15 September, ASIC issued a media release regarding the Full Federal Court’s decision to overturn a 20-year ban against Mr Mawhinney in which it said that almost 500 investors were still owed a total of approximately $211 million.
Mr Mawhinney is alleging to the court that ASIC’s media release, which he said was drafted with the help of Ms Court, conveyed imputations that he:
- Knowingly misled the public by marketing high-risk products as low risk and thereby caused 500 investors in the Mayfair 101 group to lose approximately $211 million.
- By reason of his serious misconduct in advertising investments, receiving or soliciting funds and misleading marketing, caused 500 investors in the Mayfair 101 group to lose approximately $211 million.
- By reason of his serious misconduct in advertising investments, receiving or soliciting funds and misleading marketing, caused so much harm to investors in Mayfair 101, that, unless restrained by injunctions of the court while proceedings continue, he will cause further harm to investors.
Since the matter is now before the court, Mr Mawhinney said that he will not be making any further comments. A spokesperson for ASIC also declined to comment when contacted by ifa.
On 12 October, the corporate regulator amended the media release on its website, noting that Mr Mawhinney “denied any wrongdoing concerning his direction of the Mayfair 101 Group and the matter has been remitted for a rehearing”.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.