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Monday 6 November 2017

17-370MR Former stockbroker sentenced for dishonest use of clients funds

Mr Lewis Anthony Wright Fellowes, a former strockbroker from Perth, Western Australia, has been sentenced in the Brisbane District Court on dishonesty charges brought by ASIC.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of dishonestly using his position with the intention of directly gaining an advantage for someone else and two charges of dishonestly using his position with the intention of directly gaining an advantage for himself, totaling $1,595,000.

Mr Fellowes was sentenced to three years imprisonment, to be released immediately upon entering into a $30,000, five-year good behaviour bond.

ASIC Commissioner John Price said, 'Stockbrokers and other financial advisers are in positions of trust and are expected to act honestly in their dealings with investors' money. ASIC will ensure those who breach this trust, motivated by their own self-interest, are brought before the Courts'.       

Mr Fellowes was sentenced on 1 November 2017. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) prosecuted the matter.

Background

The charges on which Mr Fellowes was sentenced covered the following conduct during his time as a stockbroker for Tolhurst in Gladstone, Queensland and was later discovered while working for Patersons in Perth, Western Australia:

  • between 9 July 2008 and 30 October 2008, Mr Fellowes used his position dishonestly with the intention of directly gaining an advantage for his wife by transferring a total of $170,000 from a client's Leveraged Equities account to his wife's personal Leveraged Equities account without the knowledge or authorisation of his client;
  • between 3 July 2009 and 4 August 2009, Mr Fellowes used his position dishonestly with the intention of directly gaining an advantage for himself by transferring a total of $425,000 from three clients' Leveraged Equities accounts to his personal Leveraged Equities account without the knowledge or authorisation of his clients; and
  • between 31 July 2009 and 1 July 2010, Mr Fellowes used his position dishonestly with the intention of directly gaining an advantage for himself by transferring $1,000,000 from a joint client account to his personal bank account and later to his personal Leveraged Equities account without the knowledge or authorisation of his clients. Further, Mr Fellowes failed to provide genuine and accurate financial information to his clients' accountant, and as a result, exposed his clients to the risks associated with providing incorrect information to the Australian Taxation Office.

On 10 March 2015, ASIC permanently banned Mr Fellowes from providing financial services (refer: 15-054MR).

Editor's note:

The CDPP has lodged an appeal against the sentence of Mr Fellowes. The hearing date is yet to be fixed.

Last updated: 06/11/2017 12:00