Perth adviser receives jail time for $1m theft

gambling court Perth theft SMSF

22 September 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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A Perth adviser who stole over $1 million from his clients to fund a gambling addiction has received a jail sentence in Perth District Court today.

According to WA Today, Sebo received a five-year prison sentence, which will be backdated so he will be eligible for parole after three years. 

Sebo had pleaded not guilty to the accusations of making 36 transactions over a 10-day period in July 2019 from his clients’ self-managed superannuation funds. This was then transferred into his online accounts with BetEasy, CrownBet and Ladbrokes as well as his personal account.

He was found guilty in June 2023 of 36 counts of stealing.

ASIC told Money Management that charges of stealing under the WA Criminal Code were brought by WA Police in this matter.

Handing down the sentence, Judge Belinda Lonsdale criticised him for his deliberate efforts to make the transactions look like errors and for showing no remorse. She also said he delayed proceedings, chose not to have legal representation and had refused any rehabilitation treatment.

“The evidence of your guilt was overwhelming, so you never accepted responsibility as you should have,” she said. “It hardly needs to be said that your offending was very serious indeed.

“They trusted you with their life savings. I find that the offending was not just opportunistic, it was planned.”

This incident marked the second prominent case this year of an adviser cheating clients to fund a gambling habit. 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.

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.

Click here to read Money Management's feature on the gambling problem in financial services.

 

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AUTHOR

Submitted by Anon on Fri, 2023-09-22 14:28

Can't see the difference between this behaviour and the behaviour in some of Australia's largest Super funds. Both are thieves but the difference is one of these parties gets a bonus upon exit.

Submitted by Aleycat on Fri, 2023-09-22 15:32

Why don't these people get 10 years gaol without parole, for each $1m that they steal ?
Has anyone noticed that, with all the draconian legislation imposed on all honest financial advisers, since 2000, it still hasn't prevented crooked or poor behaviour.!

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