“Owing investors approximately $9 million (17-246MR). Many of the investors were pensioners and were approached by telemarketing or word of mouth. Investors were convinced to borrow against their homes and were told that their money would be used to develop property in Tasmania. Instead, the money paid by investors was used to pay back interest owed to other investors, payments to employees, cash withdrawals and transfers to personal bank accounts.”
Former financial adviser, Mr Darren John Wise, has been sentenced in the Maroochydore District Court to seven years imprisonment on charges brought by ASIC. Mr Wise will be eligible for parole after serving 20 months.
Mr Wise, formerly of Rhodes NSW, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count each of forgery, using forged documents and fraud.
The charges related to Mr Wise's conduct between 23 October 1997 and 10 March 2006, when, as a financial adviser at Kawana Waters in Queensland, he:
- created six applications for margin loans on which he forged eight of his clients' signatures, the effect of which was to represent that the clients had agreed to act as guarantors for the margin loans;
- used the false margin lending applications with the intention of fraudulently inducing the lender to provide him margin loans; and
- on 67 separate occasions gained a benefit for himself by fraudulently lodging securities owned by clients as collateral for the margin loans without the clients' authorisation.
Mr Wise dishonestly obtained a total of $1,070,700 under the margin loans as a result of his misapplication of client assets. Mr Wise used the money for his own purposes including trading in securities on the ASX for himself, paying for losses in other trading accounts he held, and paying off personal debts.
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, 'Mr Wise repeatedly engaged in dishonest conduct, putting his own interests ahead of his clients. This type of conduct undermines trust and confidence in the financial advice industry and will not be tolerated by ASIC or the broader community. We will act to ensure financial advisers who act dishonestly are held to account for their actions'.
Mr Wise was sentenced on 14 November 2016.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.
In February 2016, ASIC permanently banned Mr Wise from providing financial services (refer: 16-032MR).