Court upholds appeal against former CBA adviser

ASIC and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions have successfully appealed the sentence of a former CBA-aligned adviser.

Ricky David Gillespie was a former senior financial adviser of CBA’s financial planning subsidiary Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited, ASIC said in a statement.

On 12 December 2017, Mr Gillespie was fined $3,000 with no conviction recorded after pleading guilty to a rolled-up charge of forgery, ASIC said.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions subsequently filed a notice of appeal against the sentence on the basis that it was manifestly inadequate, in particular the decision not to record a conviction.


The appeal was heard in the Brisbane District Court on 14 September 2018.

ASIC and the CDPP received judgment in their favour on 20 September 2018, with Judge Jennifer Rosengren ordering that a conviction be recorded against Mr Gillespie. 

Judge Rosengren noted that:

  • this was an offence of dishonesty, committed by a person occupying a position of trust;
  • the documents forged were protective in nature, both in terms of the CBA bank and the clients; and
  • when confronted by CBA staff that he had committed forgery, Mr Gillespie denied doing so and continued to commit acts of forgery until April 2009.

In November 2012, ASIC permanently banned Mr Gillespie from providing any financial services after he was found to have:

  • forged client signatures;
  • provided advice to a client that was not appropriate in the circumstances;
  • created false file notes;
  • charged excessive fees; and
  • failed to comply with financial services laws.
Court upholds appeal against former CBA adviser
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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