An Australian court has sentenced Graeme Walter Miller, a former financial adviser and director of Australian financial services-licensed CFS Private Wealth, to six years of imprisonment for misappropriation of AUD 1.865 million ($1.33 million).
The sentencing was delivered after Miller’s guilty plea to six counts of charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
The financial regulator accused that Miller received between AUD 50,000 to AUD 950,000 from ten clients for investing the funds, but ended up in misappropriating them for his own purpose.
The press release detailed that out of the total AUD 1.865 million, AUD 987,000 were transferred to bank accounts and credit cards held by the financial advisor and his family members; AUD 318,500 were distributed among other clients as dividends, interest, or return of capital to other clients; AUD 135,000 for personal expenses; and AUD 27,000 were withdrawn as cash or transferred to abroad.
He was involved in the fund misappropriation throughout his tenure as the financial advisor between July 2013 to April 2017.
Millar was also banned by the federal court of providing financial services for 25 years and disqualified him from managing corporations for three years.
Australia taking strict actions against financial crimes
The judge also described Millar’s actions as a “Ponzi scheme” and highlighted his behavior as “cruel and deceitful betrayal inevitably leading to financial disaster.”
Apart from the prison sentence, he was also ordered for reparation of AUD 1.777 million to all the ten clients.
“As a financial adviser, Mr. Miller ought to have protected the interests of his clients. His sentencing should send a strong message that such conduct will lead to individuals involved being brought before the court to face criminal charges,” ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan QC said in a statement following the sentencing.