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17-261MR NSW accountant pleads guilty to making false statements and misappropriating client funds
Mr Nicholas James Ellis, an accountant and former financial adviser from Valentine, New South Wales, has pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre District Court in Sydney to two charges of making false or misleading statements to obtain money from clients and fraudulent misappropriation of client funds, respectively.
Following an ASIC investigation, Mr Ellis admitted that between about 23 March 2009 and about 18 July 2009 he:
- sent 10 letters and one email to a number of his clients for the purpose of raising investment funds from them to purchase a hotel in Tura, New South Wales through his company, Tura Pty Limited. The letters and email contained false and misleading statements in relation to the purchase of the hotel; and
- fraudulently misappropriated over $500,000 of client funds received by Tura Pty Limited for his own purposes.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
Mr Ellis pleaded guilty to the charges on 4 August 2017. The matter has been set down for a sentence hearing at the NSW District Court on 26 April 2018.
The maximum term of imprisonment for each charge is:
- S178BB of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) (obtaining money etc by false and misleading statements): 5 years;
- S178A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) - (fraudulent misappropriation), 7 years.
ASIC banned Mr Ellis in 2013 from providing financial services for a period of six years for other conduct (refer: 13-069MR).
Editor's note 1:
The sentence hearing listed for 26 April 2018 has been vacated. The matter is next before the District Court on 8 June 2018, at which time a new sentence date will be set down.
Editor's note 2:
On 8 June 2018, the matter was before the District Court to set a date for sentence. The matter has been listed for a two-day sentence hearing on 29 to 30 April 2019.