Former FPSA adviser pleads guilty to fraud

A former financial adviser has pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly gaining a benefit, the creation of false documents and use of false documents involving client assets.

According to a statement issued by ASIC, former adviser of Financial Planning Services Australia (FPSA), Darren Wise, has pleaded guilty in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court to three acts of fraud.

ASIC said that following an investigation, Mr Wise admitted that between 23 October 1997 and 10 March 2006 he had created six applications for margin loans which falsely stated that clients had agreed to act as guarantors for the loans.

The regulator said Mr Wise had provided the false margin lending applications with the intention of "fraudulently inducing the lender to provide him margin loans".

Mr Wise also admitted that on 67 separate occasions he dishonestly gained a benefit for himself by lodging securities owned by five clients as collateral for the margin loan without the clients' authorisation.

"Mr Wise dishonestly obtained a total of $1,070,700 under the margin loans as a result of his fraudulent application of client securities as collateral. Mr Wise used the money for his own purposes," the statement from ASIC said.

"[Bail was granted] and the matter has been committed to the Maroochydore District Court for sentence on a date to be fixed."

ASIC said Mr Wise owned FPSA from 5 September 2000 until he sold it on 9 May 2008.

FPSA was formerly known as The Planning Corporation and Poole Financial Planning.

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