Former stockbroker Lewis Anthony Wright Fellowes has been sentenced to prison for dishonestly using client funds for personal financial gain following numerous charges brought against him by ASIC.
Fellowes, who was banned by the regulator in March 2015, was sentenced to three years imprisonment to be released immediately upon entering a $30,000, five-year good behaviour bond.
The sentencing covered multiples charges for his conduct while working as a stockbroker for Tolhurst in Gladstone, though his actions were discovered later while he was working for Patersons in Perth.
The first charge brought against Fellowes stated that between July 2008 and October of that same year, Fellowes transferred $170,000 from a client's leveraged equities account in to his wife’s personal leveraged equities account without the client's knowledge or authorisation.
Subsequently, between July and August 2009, Fellowes transferred $425,000 from three clients’ leveraged equities accounts in to his own personal one.
Fellowes then transferred $1,000,000 from a joint client account into his own bank account between July 2009 and July 2010 without their knowledge, ASIC said.
Finally, the regulator said Fellowes failed to “provide genuine and accurate financial information to his clients' accountant”, exposing them to the risks associated with providing incorrect information to the Australian Taxation Office.
“Stockbrokers and other financial advisers are in positions of trust and are expected to act honestly in their dealings with investors' money,” said ASIC commissioner John Price.
“ASIC will ensure those who breach this trust, motivated by their own self-interest, are brought before the courts.”
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