ProphetMax's Senen Pousa leaves the court after his conviction for carrying on a financial services business without a licence.
ProphetMax's Senen Pousa leaves the court after his conviction for carrying on a financial services business without a licence. John Weekes

One-time money guru 'depressed' after ProphetMax scandal

A MOTIVATIONAL speaker who promoted a doomed foreign exchange scheme has avoided going to jail.

Senen Pousa made a $200,000 deposit on a Byron Bay house and promised dazzling returns to investors.

But a court on Wednesday heard the 52-year-old was now living off the taxpayer and friends' generosity.

Pousa was not a party to fraud, Brisbane District Court heard.

But his company, Investment Intelligence Corporation, operated without a financial services licence.

Prosecutor Bruce Mumford said Pousa's actions signalled "at the very least, recklessness”.

The court heard Pousa used glitzy webinars filmed in a riverside skyscraper to promote business.

In 2011, Pousa's company became introducing broker for IB Capital.

That now deregistered New Zealand company's director was Emade Echadi.

The court heard at least $25 million vanished after IB Capital told members to send money to overseas bank accounts.

Echadi and his associate Michel Geurking were last year ordered in Texas to pay more than $35 million for trading foreign exchange while unregistered.

The court heard Pousa met these two people online - but to his credit eventually alerted investors to potential trouble with IB Capital.

In 2012, ASIC froze more than $3 million Pousa's company held.

The regulator said Pousa sold "mentoring memberships” through the ProphetMax online platform.

Mr Mumford said Pousa got $4.8 million from investors, mostly from Australian bank accounts.

$3.3 million had since been frozen and sent to a liquidator, and $700,000 to a Crown witness in the US.

Defence counsel Chris Minnery said Pousa lost $800,000 of his own money to a US bank investment fraud.

He said Pousa now lived in Sydney with no income, no assets, and no job.

"His reputation has been thoroughly destroyed.”

The court heard Pousa had tinnitus and depression.

"It's quite clear my client was not part of any $40 million dishonesty,” Mr Minnery added.

"You must've made some money, although you have none left now,” Judge Paul Smith told Pousa.

The $200,000 Byron Bay deposit had been forfeited.

The court heard not enough money was available for reparation, or even a fine.

Pousa got 12 months' jail, suspended immediately, and a five-year good behaviour bond.

He must pay $2000 security. He declined to comment outside court. -NewsRegional


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