Satvir Singh Birk of Reedy Creek was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment at Southport District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to five counts of dishonesty.
Birk is alleged to have used his position as a director of the Carter Group to gain advantage, for himself or others, in the amount of about $800,000 between September 2010 and October 2011.
ASIC alleged that Birk caused cheques to be drawn on a client’s superannuation fund without authorisation; deceived some clients about the use of funds withdrawn from their superannuation accounts; misled clients in relation to the value and other details of units they had purchased in an unlisted registered managed investment scheme; and deceived another client regarding the price at which units in an unlisted registered managed investment scheme had been sold and used a portion of the proceeds for the benefit of his father.
The allegations occurred in a period when Birk was an authorised representative of Professional Investment Services (PIS) and a director of the Carter Group, which was a corporate authorised representative of PIS at the time.
“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.
Birk will serve four months of his conviction behind bars before being released after entering in a recognisance order of $10,000 upon the condition of abiding by a good behaviour bond for two-and-a-half years.
PIS reported Birk and readily assisted during the ASIC investigation. In response to Birk’s conduct, PIS has input a remediation program, which it communicated to all affected clients.
Birk was permanently banned from providing financial services by ASIC in July 2017.