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17-431MR Former CBA financial planner sentenced
Mr Ricky David Gillespie has been sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for the forgery of client documents.
Mr Gillespie was fined $3,000, with no conviction recorded.
Mr Gillespie was a senior financial planner of the Commonwealth Bank's financial planning subsidiary, Commonwealth Financial Planning Limited (CFPL).
The charges brought against Mr Gillespie related to the forging of signatures of a number of the bank's clients on documents during the process of providing financial advice. Mr Gillespie forged signatures on various administrative and compliance documents, including applications for financial products and internal documents used as part of the CFPL internal audit process.
On 24 October 2017, Mr Gillespie pleaded guilty to a rolled-up charge relating to the forgery of 33 documents (refer: 17-373MR). At the time of the offences, between 1 January 2007 and 13 June 2009, Mr Gillespie, worked at the Broadbeach Commonwealth Bank branch on the Gold Coast.
Mr Gillespie was sentenced on 12 December 2017. The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
In November 2012, ASIC permanently banned Mr Gillespie from providing any financial services after he was found to have forged client signatures, provided advice to a client that was not appropriate in the circumstances and failed to comply with financial services laws (refer:12-269MR).
CBA subsequently reviewed the advice that Mr Gillespie provided to each of his 57 clients, and has paid approximately $2.2 million in advice compensation to 33 of these clients. In addition, CBA refunded approximately $88,000 for ongoing advice fees and interest, to 22 of Mr Gillespie's clients.
ASIC's action against Mr Gillespie was part of ASIC's Wealth Management Project. The Wealth Management Project was established in October 2014 to lift the standards of major financial advice providers. The Wealth Management Project focuses on the conduct of the largest financial advice firms (NAB, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, Macquarie and AMP).
ASIC's work in the Wealth Management Project covers a number of areas including: working with the largest financial advice firms to address the identification and remediation of non-compliant advice seeking regulatory outcomes, where appropriate, against licensees and advisers.
ASIC's MoneySmart website has useful information for clients to help them understand what to do if their adviser has been banned.
Editor's note 1:
On 21 December 2017, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions filed a notice of appeal to the decision not to record a conviction against Mr Gillespie.
Editor's note 2:
The appeal has been listed for hearing in the District Court on 14 September 2018.
Editor's note 3:
The appeal hearing was held before Rosengren J. of the District Court in Brisbane on 14 September 2018. Judgment is reserved.