A former insurance broker has pleaded guilty in court to defrauding dozens of clients to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a nearly seven-year period.
In Perth Magistrates Court last week, Sergio Amaranti pleaded guilty to seven counts of dishonest conduct, after legal action was launched by ASIC.
Mr Amaranti was a long-term director of Phoenix Insurance Brokers in Perth between January 2002 and February 2016, and was employed as a senior insurance broker with the group over a 15-year period.
The companies regulator argued in court that Mr Amaranti engaged in dishonest conduct between 6 January 2009 and 14 October 2015, by transferring 51 client refunds into his own personal bank accounts, netting him a fraction under $200,000.
The refunds were owed to 35 of the broker’s clients following adjustments or cancellations of their insurance policies.
Mr Amaranti pleaded guilty to the charges, and a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for 24 August.
According to its website, Phoenix has four branches across Western Australia, and was established in 1989.
The company specialises in a range of business and trades insurance, including professional indemnity, management liability, worker’s compensation and public liability.
ASIC noted it was Phoenix that identified the situation and reported it to authorities. The business has since reimbursed all of the affected clients for losses incurred as a result of Mr Amaranti’s actions.
Phoenix has been contacted for comment.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.