25 year financial services ban for personal use of clients’ superannuation

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The Federal Court has handed down a 25 year ban from providing financial services, relating to the “misuse” of clients’ superannuation.

The Federal Court of Australia has restrained Graeme Walter Miller from providing financial services for 25 years, disqualified him from managing companies for three years, and wound up Australian Financial Services Licensee CFS Private Wealth Pty Ltd and its corporate authorised representative
Combined Financial Solutions Pty Ltd.

The action by the Court follows from an ASIC investigation.

“Since 2008, Mr Miller advised clients of CFS Private Wealth, many of them self-managed superannuation funds, to transfer over $4.7 million to another related company, CFS Corporation Pty Ltd, apparently for investment purposes. Mr Miller instead used those funds for his own personal purposes and to make interest payments to other clients,” said a statement by the regulator.

ASIC notes that Justice Reeves called this conduct a “blatant misuse of investor funds”.

“It is also of significance that there is no evidence that Mr Miller has demonstrated any remorse for, or shown any appreciation of, the disastrous effects of his wrongdoing on his erstwhile clients,” said Justice Reeves, in the ruling.

“There is also no evidence that Mr Miller has any prospects of reforming his behaviour.”

“For these reasons, and in light of the importance of protecting that significant section of the public using financial advisors such as Mr Miller to invest their superannuation savings, and of deterring others who may be tempted to engage in similar misconduct, I propose to order that Mr Miller be restrained from providing financial services for a period of 25 years.”

ASIC says its investigation into Mr Miller is continuing.

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