On 20 August 2019, Mr Keith James Flowers (previously known as Nigel Keith Flowers), of Bathurst, NSW, appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, charged with six counts of using his position dishonestly contrary to section 184(2) of the Corporations Act 2001; and one count of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception contrary to section 192E Crimes Act (NSW).
Between 1991 and 2012, Mr Flowers operated as a financial adviser primarily providing financial services to both the medical and dental professions in Australia. Mr Flowers was the founder and controller of the Flowers Financial Group Pty Ltd and was also the director of Flowers Financial Management (FFM) and 1Source Wholesale Investments Pty Ltd (1Source Wholesale).
In 2011, Mr Flowers, and his company Flowers Financial Group, were engaged to raise seed capital to float an amalgamation of several financial planning businesses, including his own. 1Source Wholesale was utilised as the trustee company to hold funds for the proposed float and initial public offering (IPO).
ASIC alleges that between June 2011 and April 2012, Mr Flowers used his position as a director of 1Source Wholesale dishonestly, with the intention of gaining advantage for either himself or FFM, by causing the transfer/withdrawal of $179,500 of seed capital.
ASIC also alleges that Mr Flowers falsely represented to business partners that $30,000 raised for the failed IPO would be returned by him to investors after the float was cancelled. It is alleged that Mr Flowers did not return the funds to investors, rather he applied the funds for his own benefit and/or for the benefit of 1 Source Holdings Pty Ltd.
The charges were brought against Mr Flowers following an ASIC investigation into his conduct as the director of companies in the Flowers Financial Group.
The matter has been adjourned to 15 October 2019 before the Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney, for further mention.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
In 2014, Mr Flowers was permanently banned by ASIC from providing financial services and engaging in credit activities (14-130MR).