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Jailed adviser banned before joining ANZ

Disgraced former financial adviser Melinda Scott was banned by ASIC’s predecessor almost a decade before becoming an authorised rep of ANZ-aligned Millennium3.

The NSW District Court on Tuesday handed down a multi-year jail sentence to Ms Scott, after concluding she had perpetrated a $5.9 million fraud and had committed various acts of misconduct between 1989 and 2012.

However, a spokesperson for ASIC has confirmed to ifa that in June 1996 its predecessor, the Australian Securities Commission, “took action to ban Ms Scott from the securities and futures industry for a period of 10 years”.

Since the provision of advice on insurance and superannuation products was not regulated by the Corporations Act at that time, the banning order did not restrain Scott from providing personal advice to consumers, the spokesperson said.

In October 2003 – only months before Ms Scott became an authorised representative of Millenium3 in February 2004, according to ASIC documents – the banning order was “varied” to allow her to “provide advice on insurance and superannuation products only”.

The variation was carried out because the Financial Services Reform changes effectively banned Ms Scott from providing advice on super and insurance, which was not the intention of the “securities and futures industry” banning order and was beyond the regulator’s scope at the time of the original decision, the ASIC spokesperson said.

Ms Scott pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonest conduct and four charges of “making and use of false documents” in December 2013.

Her authorisation from Millenium3 was revoked on 15 May 2012, with parent company ANZ involved in compensating aggrieved former clients.