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Former Bell Potter adviser sentenced

A former Bell Potter Securities adviser has received a two-year suspended sentence for dishonest conduct involving more than $1.7 million, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has revealed. 

Lawson Stuart Donald received the sentence, fully suspended upon entering a two-year good behaviour bond, after facing Sydney District Court on 26 April, the announcement stated.

Donald worked as a client adviser for the brokerage between 1 February 2003 and 21 April 2008. For three years he used his position as an employee to gain an “advantage for himself or someone else”, according to ASIC.

“ASIC will not tolerate unscrupulous financial advisers. This type of behaviour can erode investor and consumer confidence in financial services,” ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said.

Donald was rebooking share trades, according to ASIC, meaning transferring trades from one client account to another. He rebooked profitable share trades from a client account to two accounts he controlled, selling those shares for a profit.

Donald also rebooked non-profitable share trades from the two accounts controlled by him to a client's account, therefore avoiding a loss, ASIC stated.

In August 2012, Donald pleaded guilty to one charge of dishonestly using his position as an employee with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for himself or someone else, according to ASIC.


The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.