ASIC charges two advisers over fraud

Two financial advisers have been charged in the Adelaide Magistrates Court with a number of offences relating to fraud and failing to pass on client monies.

The charges were laid against Daryl McGuire, a 41-year old former financial adviser from Queensland, and Janice Lewinski, a former insurance agent of South Australia following investigations by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

McGuire was charged with seven counts of fraudulently inducing a person to deal in securities under the Corporations Act, as well as fifteen counts of fraudulent conversion.

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ASIC alleges that McGuire induced BT Funds Management to redeem units valued at $166,950 though he had no authority to do so.

It is also alleged that McGuire fraudulently converted cheques belonging to a client, valued at $180,916, for his own use or benefit.

Ten charges against Lewinski were brought under the Insurance (Agents and Brokers) Act by ASIC.

The regulator alleges that while Lewinski was the sole proprietor of Harrerds Insurance Agencies between August 1999 and October 2000, she received insurance premiums from clients under proposed contracts but did not pass this money on to the insurance companies.

Both McGuire and Lewinski failed to appear in court and both cases were adjourned until 2003, with both matters being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

The charges come as the Queensland Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed an appeal of Leonard Smith against the severity of the sentence imposed upon him in 2001.

Smith, a former Tweed Heads and Gold Coast investment adviser, was convicted of 22 charges involving intentional fraud of $870,000 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

ASIC alleged Smith had solicited loans for a fictitious entity from over one hundred investors, many of whom were elderly.

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