A former financial adviser has been given a seven year jail sentence in a local Australian court on charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for a combination of fraudulent activities.
Darren John Wise, formerly of Rhodes NSW, had previously pleaded guilty to one count each of forgery, using forged documents and fraud.
The charges relate to Wise’s conduct between 23 October 1997 and 10 March 2006, when in his capacity as a financial adviser he created six applications for margin loans on which he forged eight of his clients’ signatures, the aim of which was to represent that the clients had agreed to act as guarantors for the margin loans.
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Wise repeatedly engaged in dishonest conduct, putting his own interests ahead of his clients.
Wise also used the false margin lending applications with the intention of fraudulently inducing the lender to provide him margin loans and on 67 separate occasions, benefiting by fraudulently lodging securities owned by clients as collateral for the margin loans without the clients’ authorisation.
Monies Used for Trading on ASX
Wise dishonestly obtained a total of over $1 million under the margin loans as a result of his misapplication of client assets. He used the money for his own purposes including trading in securities on the ASX, paying for losses in other trading accounts he held and paying off personal debts.
ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer commented: “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.”
In February 2016, ASIC permanently banned Wise from providing financial services. He was sentenced on 14 November 2016.