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Financial adviser sent to prison for pocketing $2.9m in client funds

  • May 26 2021
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Financial adviser sent to prison for pocketing $2.9m in client funds

By Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
May 26 2021

A former financial adviser has been sentenced to jail for misappropriating approximately $2.9 million of his clients’ funds without their knowledge.

financial adviser sent to prison for pocketing 2 9m in client funds

Financial adviser sent to prison for pocketing $2.9m in client funds

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  • May 26 2021
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A former financial adviser has been sentenced to jail for misappropriating approximately $2.9 million of his clients’ funds without their knowledge.

financial adviser sent to prison for pocketing 2 9m in client funds

Former Sydney financial adviser Ross Andrew Hopkins has been convicted of 15 dishonesty offences and sentenced in the District Court of New South Wales to a maximum period of six years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years.

An ASIC investigation found that Mr Hopkins, the former sole director of QWL Pty Ltd, misappropriated approximately $2.9 million of his clients’ funds without their knowledge between 14 October 2016 and 8 October 2019.

Mr Hopkins, who had almost complete control of his clients’ super, used his clients’ funds for his own benefit, such as holidays, rent, paying his own credit card debts and repaying personal loans, ASIC found.

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“Mr Hopkins lied to his clients, and the court’s decision demonstrates the seriousness of this conduct. Financial advisers must be open and honest with their clients, and if they aren’t, they face serious consequences,” said ASIC commissioner Danielle Press.

“Financial advisers should always allow clients to have direct access to information about their own investments. If this is not occurring, clients should contact ASIC with their concerns.”

In delivering the sentence, acting District Court Judge Wood QC found that each of the victims “trusted and relied” on Mr Hopkins for his expertise.

“Some considered him a friend,” Judge Wood said.

Reparation orders were sought with respect to the losses suffered and judgment on this aspect was reserved until 7 July 2021.

Mr Hopkins is also automatically disqualified from managing a corporation for five years.

Financial adviser sent to prison for pocketing $2.9m in client funds
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About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

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