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Brokerage reassures newspaper after ASIC raid

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Victorian regional brokerage Griffiths Goodall is not facing allegations of theft “or anything of a criminal fraud nature”, the company’s GM has told a local newspaper.

The brokerage’s Shepparton office was raided last week by officers from the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

As reported, the officials arrived at the brokerage about 9.30am last Tuesday with a search warrant. It’s understood they completed their work about midnight.

GM Ben Goodall told the Shepparton News a number of company files were seized but the incident “was not a police search or a criminal investigation” and the Federal Police “only attended to accompany ASIC”.

“We were fully co-operative and even if they had not been accompanied by police, I would have invited them in. We don’t have anything to hide.”

The newspaper reports Mr Goodall saying the ASIC officials removed “past information, including digital and paper-based records located on-site”.

“The details of the warrant included search and assistance relating to the conduct surrounding the creation, dissemination and material within insurance invoices issued to clients and the total amount of the premium noted on an invoice.

“The search included viewing copies of relevant invoices as well as associated advice provided around financial products.

“There are no allegations of theft of money or anything of a criminal fraud nature. What we’re discussing is purely a paperwork-based issue, which we strongly deny.

“It’s pretty clear what the reason for the surveillance is and we definitely deny that and we’re very confident that we have always operated within the law.”

The newspaper says the raid came as “a complete surprise” to the company and ASIC did not tell Mr Goodall why the raid was conducted.

“Their words were at this stage it’s only a bit [of] surveillance and hopefully they’ll just move on from it. They certainly wanted to return us to business as soon as they could and get us back up and running.”

Mr Goodall told the Shepparton News the company still has a fully operational Australian Financial Services Licence and “there is no impact on our clients”.