An Australian court has sentenced Graeme Walter Miller, a former financial adviser and director of Australian financial services-licensed CFS Private Wealth, to 6 years imprisonment for misappropriation of AUD 1.865 million ($1.33 million).
The sentence was delivered after Miller’s guilty plea to 6 charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
The financial regulator accused Miller of receiving between AUD 50,000 to AUD 950,000 from 10 clients to invest in funds, which he ended up misappropriating for his own purposes.
The press release detailed that out of the total AUD 1.865 million, AUD 987,000 was transferred to bank accounts and credit cards held by the financial advisor and his family members; also, he distributed AUD 318,500 among other clients as dividends, interest, or return of capital to other clients; then AUD 135,000 went towards personal expenses; finally, he withdrew AUD 27,000 as cash or transferred abroad.
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It has been stated that he was involved in fund misappropriation throughout the period he spent as a financial advisor, between July 2013 to April 2017.
Millar was additionally banned, by the federal court, from providing financial services for the next 25 years. Further, he is disqualified from managing corporations for 3 years.
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The judge described Millar’s actions as a “Ponzi scheme” and highlighted his behavior as “cruel and deceitful betrayal inevitably leading to financial disaster.”
Apart from the prison sentence, he was also ordered to make reparations for the amount of AUD 1.777 million to all 10 clients.
“As a financial adviser, Mr Miller ought to have protected the interests of his clients. His sentencing should send a strong message that such conduct will lead to individuals involved being brought before the court to face criminal charges,” ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan QC said in a statement following the sentence.