Perth adviser faces court for allegedly stealing $1m from clients

Gavin Fineff ASIC gambling

14 June 2023
| By Rhea Nath |
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A Western Australian financial adviser is on trial for allegedly stealing $1 million from the superannuation accounts of clients to fund his gambling habit.

Mark Sebo, 41, was accused of duping the eight clients to transfer the funds into personal online gambling accounts.

As reported by the ABC, this was believed to have taken place in July and August 2019.

He was arrested in 2019 and pleaded not guilty to the 36 charges. Meanwhile, state prosecutor Paul Usher said evidence would be presented to the court that showed most of the money had been used to gamble on three online betting sites.

The court heard that most of the money had not been recovered even as Sebo denied any wrongdoing. 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) told Money Management that charges of stealing under the WA Criminal Code were brought by WA Police in this matter.

Sebo is representing himself at the trial and denies any wrongdoing.

According to information published on the Financial Adviser Register (FAR), Sebo first provided advice in 2003.

He had previously been an authorised representative of Perth-based firms Sentry Financial Planning between 2009 and 2014.

He had been with dealer group MCA Financial Planners from 2014 to 2018.

A graduate of economics of Murdoch University, his adviser qualifications included a graduate diploma in financial planning from the now-closed Securities Institute of Australia; CFP program through the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA); and self-managed superannuation fund core principles from Tribeca. 

Earlier this year, Sydney adviser Gavin Fineff was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to deceiving 12 victims out of a total of $3.4 million over a period of three and a half years.

A police investigation into his gambling revealed he had been a customer of Betfair from 24 March 2010 to 30 May 2020. His final bet was on 22 February 2020.

He lost $758,510 with Ladbrokes over a period of 21 months from 5 June 2018, lost $3,659,843.08 with Sportsbet/BetEasy between 28 June 2014 and 5 October 2018 and had also been a client of Tabcorp since 27 June 2009. His last bet was on 20 June 2018. 

Fineff was sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment consisting of a total term of nine years and a non-parole period of five years and four months. 

He would be eligible for release on parole on 12 February 2028.

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Submitted by Big Feller on Wed, 2023-06-14 14:26

Great way to represent the profession Mark!

Submitted by Jeff on Wed, 2023-06-14 15:32

So sad, all that education, yet he was still a common thief, albeit an educated one. Methinks there may have been a problem with the Ethics module in his case!

Submitted by Aleycat on Wed, 2023-06-14 15:48

Can someone please tell me why those who have done irreparable damage to their clients and the profession aren't serving a minimum of 15 years in gaol for their crimes ?
Offering a 50.0% discount (non parole period) off their original sentence sends the wrong message !

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