Websites run by the Gold Coast man promoted using retirement funds for buying a home or paying down debt.
ASIC bans director for illegal super access schemes
ASIC has banned a Gold Coast director for eight years for promoting illegal early release of super as a way of buying a home or paying down personal debt.
Darren Thomas Edden-Brown ran a business under the brand Enigma and attracted customers by advertising on social media.
ASIC found that Mr Edden-Brown falsely represented that Enigma Corporation, along with other trusts he controlled, was licenced or authorised to provide financial products.
It said Mr Edden-Brown told consumers they could access their super to buy a home or pay down personal debts, even though they failed to meet the conditions for early release.
Superannuation can be accessed prior to retirement age only if a condition of release is met and there are significant penalties to promoters of early release schemes.
After ASIC raised concerns in December 2020, it said Mr Edden-Brown took seven months to remove the online statements and as a result it declared he neither was fit and proper, nor adequately trained or competent, to participate in the financial services and credit industries.
Mr Edden-Brown (who is also known as Darren Brown, Darren Edden Brown and Darren Thomas Brown) is prohibited from providing financial services and engaging in credit activity for eight years.
The order also prevents him from controlling a financial services business or engaging in credit activities, as well as performing any functions as an officer of such an entity.
Mr Edden-Brown is the sole director and shareholder of Edden Brown Holdings Pty Ltd, the corporate trustee for the Enigma Corporation Trust (Enigma Corporation) and the Equitibanx Australian Trust (Equitibanx).
From 2019 to 2021, he was also a director and ultimate shareholder of licensees Consolidated Mercantile Group Ltd, Wentworth Financial Services Pty Ltd and Search Finance Pty Ltd.
Previously in July 2022, ASIC banned Albert Christen Walters, CMG’s responsible manager, for four years for failing to monitor and oversee CMG’s business and failing to address concerns raised by ASIC.
CMG voluntarily deregistered on 25 February 2023.
Wentworth Financial Services Pty Ltd applied to voluntarily cancel its AFS licence and it was cancelled on 8 November 2022.
The ban of Mr Edden-Brown has been recorded on ASIC’s Banned and Disqualified persons register. He has the right to seek a review of ASIC’s decision at the AAT.