The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has reinforced its litigation approach, initiating legal action against a former Adelaide financial adviser who has already been permanently banned.
It is the second time in recent months the regulator has pursued court action against an adviser it had already permanently banned.
The regulator announced that the former adviser, Robert Pryor Smith, had appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates’ Court after being charged with 27 dishonesty offences.
ASIC is alleging that between 14 October 2010 and 12 July 2016, Smith stole approximately $179,600 from a deceased estate of which he was executor, by transferring the money from the estate account to one of his own accounts. The property was jointly owned by the beneficiaries of the estate, who were charitable organisations.
The ASIC statement said it was being alleged that the offences were committed when Smith was a financial adviser of Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd and director of Advice 4 Wealth Pty Ltd and when Smith and Futuro were authorised representatives of A4W.
Smith appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court last Friday and was placed on bail and remanded to appear in the committal court on 23 July 2019.
The ASIC announcement noted that Smith faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for each offence committed prior to May 2012, or 15 years imprisonment for each offence committed after that time.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter following referral of a brief from ASIC.
Smith was permanently banned by ASIC in January, 2018.