Author: Don Obrien

Ansa Finance’s Joshua Fuoco taken to court over suspected underpayments

Another worker employed between December and February allegedly did not receive payslips for his wage payments, also allegedly underpaid, until May 2021, according to court documents.

“Mr Fuoco was a person with actual or apparent responsibility for ensuring Ansa complied with its legal obligations under the Fair Work Act,” the FWO said.

The watchdog launched the investigations into each employee between January and June this year and issued the compliance notices separately.

Facing charges

The FWO alleges that at all relevant times Mr Fuoco was aware of the notices and knew about the firm’s failure to rectify the underpayments or provide the payslips.

Mr Fuoco could not be contacted for comment. Failure to comply with FWO notices can result in penalties of up to $6660 per breach for an individual or $33,300 for a company.

The litigation comes as Mr Fuoco is facing charges for allegedly managing a company while disqualified and failing to deliver company records in his possession for Wealth & Risk Management Pty Ltd, now in liquidation. The matter is listed for a contest mention on November 4.

In 2016, the Australian Securities & Investment Commission banned Mr Fuoco from managing corporations for two years and six months. But it alleges that he continued to manage a company, Financial Circle Pty Ltd, between 2017 and 2018.

Financial Circle was previously ordered to pay a $9 million fine for failing to act in clients’ best interests.

In 2018, Wealth & Risk Management and its related companies were ordered to pay more than $7 million in fines, and Mr Fuoco $650,000, for a scheme where they advised clients with poor credit histories to switch from industry super funds to retail funds and take out high-end insurance policies.

The firms would then charge an advice fee to the client that was paid from their super funds and the businesses would pay clients a “cash rebate” from insurance commissions paid to it from the insurance providers, according to ASIC.

Mr Fuoco was also banned from providing financial advice from 2010 to 2015.

The FWO’s underpayment matter is listed for directions in Melbourne on December 2.

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Oliver Bolt

Oliver Bolt

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