A ‘fake’ insurance broker is guilty of fraud
16 December 2022
A man has been convicted of fraud after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) accused him of “dishonestly” representing himself as an insurance broker and selling “invalid” insurance policies.
Samuel Tessa, 55, of Ellwood, Victoria, was found guilty of five counts of obtaining property by deception and two counts of obtaining financial gain by deception following a trial in the Victorian County Court, an ASIC statement said.
During the three-week trial, Tessa was accused of fraudulent conduct by dishonestly representing herself as an insurance broker and Review Financial Services as an insurance company while operating Review Financial Services.
ASIC’s investigation focused on concerns that Tessa was involved in the “dishonest selling of reasonable insurance” to unwitting small business owners in Melbourne. ASIC says he made about $94,000 from the sale of invalid insurance policies.
“Though there were some nominal claims related to insurance for business owners through Review Financial Services, substantial claims from two victims were rejected,” the regulator said.
Tessa and her associated companies have never held an Australian financial services license or authorization to carry on an insurance-related business, nor have East Profits or Financial Services Review been approved by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to carry on an insurance business.
“The victims then did not retain the actual insurance coverage,” ASIC said.
Tessa was charged with the offenses in December 2017 after an ASIC investigation into her dealings with individuals and businesses in the Melbourne auto repair industry.
Tessa will be sentenced on February 10.