A former financial adviser and company director has pleaded guilty to dishonesty offences following ASIC allegations of theft of approximately $4.88 million in client funds.
Former Adelaide financial adviser James Gibbs pleaded guilty to 28 dishonesty offences committed when he was a financial planner and director of James Gibbs Investments Pty Ltd (JGI), ASIC said in a public statement. JGI operated in Franklin St, Adelaide.
The regulator alleged that between 20 August 2009 and 30 July 2016, Mr Gibbs stole approximately $4.88 million of funds that he was managing for his clients.
A number of clients had self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), which Mr Gibbs was able to access via client bank accounts, stated ASIC.
It also alleged that between 25 June, 2012, and 30 July, 2016, Mr Gibbs created and used false documents, including banking documents and member statements.
The alleged misconduct occurred while Mr Gibbs and JGI were authorised representatives of Madison Financial Group Ltd.
ASIC said it became aware of the allegations as a result of a breach report by Madison.
Mr Gibbs appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 1 February 2019, and pleaded guilty to all offences. He was placed on bail and was remanded to appear in the committal court on 27 February 2019.
“He faces a maximum penalty of ten years’ imprisonment for each offence committed prior to May 2012, or 15 years imprisonment for each offence committed after that time,” the corporate regulator said.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.
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