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18-331MR Former Gold Coast financial advisor jailed after dishonestly using his position
Former financial adviser and accountant, Satvir Singh Birk, of Reedy Creek, was today sentenced in the Southport District Court to two and a half years imprisonment, following an ASIC investigation.
On 25 May 2018, Mr Birk, aged 42, pleaded guilty to five counts of dishonestly using his position as director of The Carter Group with the intention of gaining an advantage, for himself or others, in the amount of approximately $800,000 (MR16-216).
The charges relate to conduct between September 2010 and October 2011, while Mr Birk was an authorised representative of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd (PIS) and a director of the Carter Group (now in external administration) which was a corporate authorised representative of PIS.
ASIC alleged that Mr Birk dishonestly used his position as a director in that he:
· caused cheques to be drawn on a client’s superannuation account without authorisation;
· deceived some clients as to the use of funds withdrawn from their superannuation funds;
· deceived another client as to the price at which units in an unlisted registered managed investment scheme had been sold for and used a portion of the proceeds for the benefit of Mr Birk’s father; and
· misled clients in relation to the value and other details of units they had purchased in an unlisted registered managed investment scheme.
‘Mr Birk’s actions were dishonest and betrayed the trust of his clients. Today’s decision shows this type of behaviour will be met with serious consequences,’ said ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press.
Mr Birk has been convicted and imprisoned for two and a half years, to be released after serving four months upon entering into a recognisance order of $10,000 upon the condition that he be of good behaviour for a period of two and a half years.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
In December 1999, Mr Birk became a partner of Sa & Birk Accountants Pty Ltd and later the Carter Group Pty Ltd, located in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
In September 2007, Mr Birk was an authorised representative of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd in Bundall and prior to this, was an authorised representative of Bongiorno Financial Advisers (Aust) Ltd AFSL No. 238976 (in liquidation).
In April 2014, Mr Birk ceased his roles with Sa & Birk Accountants Pty Ltd, the Carter Group Pty Ltd and his authorised representative role with Professional Services was revoked.
In July 2017, ASIC permanently banned Mr Birk from providing financial services. (MR17-245).
Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd (Bundall) reported Mr Birk’s conduct to ASIC and assisted ASIC during its investigation. As a result of Mr Birk’s conduct Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd (Bundall) implemented a remediation program that was communicated to all affected clients.