Ex-adviser charged with 18 dishonesty counts

Former financial adviser Gavin Fineff was arrested on 7 May and charged with 18 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime with the intent to conceal.

Money Management reported on Wednesday that a Sydney adviser had allegedly defrauded multiple clients of $3.3 million.

Reports from the Sydney Morning Herald said court documents said it was Fineff who took funds from 12 people which were meant for shares holdings and diverted them to his own bank account from May 2017 to March 2020.

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The SMH said Fineff spoke to reporters on Monday and said he had never been in trouble before.

“Yet here I am a couple of weeks ago in a police station for 11 hours, in a cell for a few hours and talking about the things that I did and being as honest as I can,” he said.

“I’ve impacted my kids, my family. I’ve lost my career, but it kind of all means nothing for these people that are just sitting there without their money.

“I lost my money. Then I asked for money from my mum and I lost her money. How can I do that to the hero of my life?

“I wake up and I can’t get back to sleep, the shame and the guilt is sickening ... these people are my friends, my family, people that I love and care for.”

Fineff’s matter was heard before Hornsby Local Court on Wednesday where his bail conditions remained unchanged. His matter will return on 21 July.

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Royal Commission, enormous new regulatory burden, adviser numbers dwindling, but it seems nothing stopped alleged fraudsters Melissa Craddick, Ross Andrew Hopkins and Gavin Fineff. You cannot stop "crooks" with regulation because crooks do not comply with the law, that is why we call them "crooks". A completely new approoach needs to be considered including proper identification of legitimate purpose for any third party authorised funds transfer and verification of customer agreement. This may seems draconian, but it would do immeasurable more to prevent fraud than the existing licensee system, Financial Services Guides, Statements of Advice and Product Dislclosure Statements. The currrent system just crushed honest people with paperwork and the crooks do as they please.

Well stated

...and it's just going to get worse, because with financial advice becoming so unaffordable for the majority of Australians, there are going to be many more crooks step in to fill the void. With a little luck, ASIC will be running around with too much real work to do, rather than chasing the imaginary stuff they're now fixated on. :P

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