Another Director of $180m FX Ponzi Scheme Faces 10 Years in Jail

by Damian Chmiel
  • After Irevasi and Papoulias pled guilty, the court charged Sipina with criminal offences.
  • The Ponzi scheme operated for almost seven years.
Ponzi scheme
FM

On Wednesday, the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC) declared that David Sipina, a former Courtenay House Director, was charged with criminal offences relating to the $180 million foreign exchange (FX) Ponzi scheme. The maximum penalty he faces for his misconduct is ten years in prison and a fine of $810,000.

ASIC Bring Criminal Charges against Courtenay House Director

According to the statement from ASIC published today, Sipina was accused at the Downing Centre Local Court on 21 February 2023 and is currently the third person facing criminal charges for Courtenay House's illegal activities, which took place between 2010 and 2017. However, the Australian judge examined Sipina's involvement in the scheme over the last two years of its operations.

Sipina has been charged with conducting a financial services business without the necessary license, engaging in dishonest conduct regarding a financial product or service, and dealing in proceeds of crime valued at $1 million or more.

According to the Australian court, Courtenay House operated as a Ponzi scheme and convinced at least 585 investors to invest more than $180 million based on false representations that their funds would be traded in the FX and futures markets. However, it is alleged that only a small portion of the funds was traded, and the majority of new investor resources were used to pay older investors.

Additionally, it is alleged that Sipina obtained personal information from investors through false pretences and used that information to deceive representatives of the responsible entity for the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund.

Watch the recent FMLS22 panel titled: "Regulation Roundup: Everything You Need to Know for 2023."

Two Already Pleded Guilty

The first verdict in the $180 million financial pyramid case came in November 2022, when Tony Iervasi, the mastermind behind Courtenay House, was found guilty. Athan Papoulias, an associate of Irevasi, pled guilty a month later.

"In addition to offering purported 'standard' investment products, Mr Iervasi ran several 'investment specials' to encourage trading. In December 2016, Mr Iervasi invited clients to invest in a 'US Election Special Trade' which was to take place between 1 January 2017 and 1 February 2017 to coincide with the Inauguration of President Trump, as a way to invest in what Mr Iervasi claimed was 'fast-money markets'," ASIC commented.

Although there is no allegation that Sipina or Papoulias were aware of the Ponzi scheme, they allegedly facilitated its continuation and gained benefits through their conduct.

The first interim sentences in their cases were handed down back in 2017 when all three were banned from conducting financial services in Australia. The court decided to secure the funds necessary to cover the claims of the deceived customers caught in the pyramid scheme.

On Wednesday, the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC) declared that David Sipina, a former Courtenay House Director, was charged with criminal offences relating to the $180 million foreign exchange (FX) Ponzi scheme. The maximum penalty he faces for his misconduct is ten years in prison and a fine of $810,000.

ASIC Bring Criminal Charges against Courtenay House Director

According to the statement from ASIC published today, Sipina was accused at the Downing Centre Local Court on 21 February 2023 and is currently the third person facing criminal charges for Courtenay House's illegal activities, which took place between 2010 and 2017. However, the Australian judge examined Sipina's involvement in the scheme over the last two years of its operations.

Sipina has been charged with conducting a financial services business without the necessary license, engaging in dishonest conduct regarding a financial product or service, and dealing in proceeds of crime valued at $1 million or more.

According to the Australian court, Courtenay House operated as a Ponzi scheme and convinced at least 585 investors to invest more than $180 million based on false representations that their funds would be traded in the FX and futures markets. However, it is alleged that only a small portion of the funds was traded, and the majority of new investor resources were used to pay older investors.

Additionally, it is alleged that Sipina obtained personal information from investors through false pretences and used that information to deceive representatives of the responsible entity for the Courtenay House Capital Investment Fund.

Watch the recent FMLS22 panel titled: "Regulation Roundup: Everything You Need to Know for 2023."

Two Already Pleded Guilty

The first verdict in the $180 million financial pyramid case came in November 2022, when Tony Iervasi, the mastermind behind Courtenay House, was found guilty. Athan Papoulias, an associate of Irevasi, pled guilty a month later.

"In addition to offering purported 'standard' investment products, Mr Iervasi ran several 'investment specials' to encourage trading. In December 2016, Mr Iervasi invited clients to invest in a 'US Election Special Trade' which was to take place between 1 January 2017 and 1 February 2017 to coincide with the Inauguration of President Trump, as a way to invest in what Mr Iervasi claimed was 'fast-money markets'," ASIC commented.

Although there is no allegation that Sipina or Papoulias were aware of the Ponzi scheme, they allegedly facilitated its continuation and gained benefits through their conduct.

The first interim sentences in their cases were handed down back in 2017 when all three were banned from conducting financial services in Australia. The court decided to secure the funds necessary to cover the claims of the deceived customers caught in the pyramid scheme.

About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian Chmiel
  • 1378 Articles
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About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian's adventure with financial markets began at the Cracow University of Economics, where he obtained his MA in finance and accounting. Starting from the retail trader perspective, he collaborated with brokerage houses and financial portals in Poland as an independent editor and content manager. His adventure with Finance Magnates began in 2016, where he is working as a business intelligence analyst.
  • 1378 Articles
  • 28 Followers

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