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Federal Court finds that Sydney lawyer acted dishonestly

An appeal by Mr Yingjie Wang (also known as Jay Wang), a lawyer and accountant from Sydney, against his permanent banning from providing financial services has been dismissed by the Federal Court of Australia.

In February 2017 ASIC permanently banned Mr Wang from providing financial services after finding that he had acted dishonestly in causing Easy Capital Global Pty Ltd to use an investor’s money for unauthorised purposes, and that he was not of good fame or character (refer: 17-036MR).

At the time of the relevant conduct Mr Wang was a director and sole signatory of the bank account of Easy Capital Global Pty Ltd, a company which held an Australian financial services licence.

Mr Wang subsequently appealed the banning decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (refer: 18-156MR) and then, to the Federal Court of Australia.

In dismissing Mr Wang’s appeal, the Federal Court upheld the AAT’s findings that Mr Wang:

  • had a dishonest state of mind when he transferred an investor’s money from Easy Capital Global Pty Ltd’s Australian bank account to the bank account of a company in the Seychelles with which Mr Wang had a very close relationship, at a time when he knew the investor was claiming the return of his money;
  • sent emails to the investor that were misleading; and
  • is not of good fame and character.

The Federal Court also found that the misleading emails sent by Mr Wang to the investor was conduct in relation to a financial product for the purposes of s1041H(1) of the Corporations Act (contrary to the AAT’s finding).

ASIC Deputy Chair Dan Crennan QC said, ‘The Federal Court’s decision demonstrates that ASIC’s administrative decision-making is robust and that ASIC’s banning decisions, which are key protective measures, are well capable of withstanding multiple challenges.

‘ASIC’s banning powers are vitally important such that ASIC can directly and expeditiously remove anyone who acts dishonestly from the financial services industry’, he said.

The Federal Court decision, handed down on 21 July 2019, can be downloaded here.

Mr Wang’s banning is recorded on ASIC’s Banned and Disqualified Persons Register