Titanium speaks out on fraud case

Titanium Financial Group says its recent handling of a case of fraud by a former authorised representative was aimed at ensuring the client could be paid back.

ifa yesterday reported the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had handed a life ban to former Gateway Financial Advisors adviser Joshua John Doyle, who was last year sentenced to an 18-month suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to charges of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage.

Gateway is a corporate authorised representative of Titanium Financial Group, which recently merged with Link Financial Group to form Beacon Financial Group. Following yesterday’s coverage, a representative of Titanium contacted ifa to say despite ASIC's reporting of the issue, it had been uncovered as the result of a proactive internal investigation.

“[Titanium] investigated it, [we] conducted a record of interview and got the admission [and] put the submission to the court and got the restitution.

The discovery came as a result of an extensive internal audit of Titanium’s planners in 2011 and 12, he added.

“The investigation revealed some anomalies in a cash management account of a client and that adviser was investigated internally,” the licensee’s representative said.

“As a result, we put a brief together and charged [the adviser] criminally, and in the antecedence put before the court, we recommended a remediation process so that the client sought restitution.

“During the mediation process, it was granted that the adviser was not incarcerated and he would be subject to a rehabilitation program and pay back the client with interest so they weren’t out of pocket.”

The most important thing is that the client is not out of pocket, the representative added. "I see that as being a brilliant result based on getting that adviser charged but keeping him out of jail to ensure he can meet his financial commitments to pay her back."

As a result, Titanium has not had a professional indemnity insurance claim or any other claim “because of the internal process we conducted”.

“It’s very much as isolated incident due to the personal behaviour of that adviser and we will not tolerate that sort of conduct by anyone,” he said.

“We run a very proactive approach. Our model is to educate advisers in relation to compliance and bridge the gap between the expectation of ASIC, the licensee and the operator. And we’ve done that repeatedly.”

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