Planner jailed for 10 years

A financial planner, Bradley Thomas Sherwin, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Brisbane District Court, following fraud charges brought following an investigation by ASIC.

Sherwin, the former principal of Sherwin Financial Planners Pty Ltd and chairman of Wickham Securities Ltd, pled guilty to all 25 charges in the Brisbane District Court on 5 September 2017. The charges follow an investigation by ASIC, following the collapse of Sherwin Financial Planners in 2013.

He faced charges of 24 counts of fraud by dishonestly causing detriment to the value of $10 million to clients of Sherwin Financial Planners. The misconduct occurred between May 2009 and December 2012.

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He also admitted guilt in regard to one charge of breaching his director’s duties in his role at Wickham Securities in 2010, as he falsely reported that nearly $4.5 million of loans made by Wickham had been repaid.

The court heard that the fraud took place through recommending to clients that they roll their existing superannuation into self managed super funds. The clients’ funds were then held in bank accounts, which were operated via email according to Sherwin’s instructions.

When the property development financing aspects of Sherwin’s company suffered financial trouble leading up until 2009, Sherwin used client funds to meet payments needed by the property business.

By the time the Sherwin group of companies collapsed in January 2013, they owed nearly $60 million to approximately 400 clients.

ASOC commissioner, John Price, said that ASIC would not tolerate misconduct of this kind. He lamented the “great hardship” Sherwin’s actions caused his clients.

“Today’s outcome should serve as a warning to company directors and financial advisors who breach community standards – the consequences are severe,” he said.

He was sentenced for 10 years imprisonment for the fraud charges accumulatively, and one year for the breach of director’s duties. He is not eligible for parole for at least four years.

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