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James Mawhinney. Source: Mayfair 101
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  • ASIC files a contempt application in the Federal Court against James Mawhinney, the director of the Mayfair 101 group of businesses
  • Mr Mawhinney says he denies ASIC’s allegations and intends on “vigorously defending these proceedings so our noteholders can be made whole”
  • The Federal Court ordered Mr Mawhinney on April 19, 2021, to stop raising funds through financial instruments for the next 20 years, a decision he has appealed
  • Mr Mawhinney allegedly failed to comply with these directions, according to ASIC
  • Separate Federal Court actions were also initiated by ASIC against Mr Mawhinney and his entities, the Australian firm Eleuthera Group and the UK-based Eleuthera Group

ASIC has today filed a contempt application in the Federal Court against James Mawhinney, the director of the Mayfair 101 group of businesses: allegations he denies.

The Federal Court ordered Mr Mawhinney on April 19, 2021, to stop raising funds through financial instruments for the next 20 years. Mr Mawhinney allegedly failed to comply with these directions, according to ASIC.

Mr Mawhinney has denied the allegations.

“I deny ASIC’s allegations and intend on vigorously defending these proceedings so our noteholders can be made whole,” he said.

Mr Mawhinney said the Mayfair Group still controlled assets worth around $100 million and that subject to defending its various proceedings, the group is on track to resume distributions and redemption payments to its noteholders in 2022.

Mr Mawhinney filed an appeal to the April order, claiming the Federal Court decision was “within the context of an ill-advised, deficient campaign by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in an environment of political, commercial and media influence”.

Previously, Mr Mawhinney stated that whatever actions he took were subject to legal counsel to ensure he was in compliance with the law.

ASIC is requesting a court order to penalise 37-year-old Mr Mawhinney for contempt.

Separate Federal Court actions were also initiated by ASIC against Mr Mawhinney and his entities, the Australian firm Eleuthera Group and the UK-based Eleuthera Group.

“These proceedings allege Mr Mawhinney and the Eleuthera Entities made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, or conduct likely to mislead and deceive consumers, by sending emails directly to consumers regarding investment options, terms and rates of return,” ASIC said in a statement.

ASIC further alleges that Eleuthera Group operated a financial services company in Australia while not possessing an Australian financial services licence when necessary.

ASIC is requesting civil penalties, injunctions prohibiting Mr Mawhinney and the Eleuthera Entities from promoting or soliciting funds from consumers for alleged credit opportunities or similar products, and orders prohibiting UK-based Eleuthera Group from conducting financial services business in Australia.

On 29 January 2021, the Federal Court ordered the liquidation of M101 Nominees, of which Mr Mawhinney was a director, on just and equitable grounds, and appointed Said Jahani and Philip Campbell-Wilson as liquidators.

On March 23, 2021, the Federal Court ruled that companies in the Mayfair 101 Group, of which Mr Mawhinney was also a director, made false, misleading, or deceptive representations in ads for its debenture products.

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