29. June 2011 10:48
ASIC has permanently banned a financial adviser following a surveillance by the corporate regulator which found he had misappropriated more than $1 million from his clients over a three month period.
ASIC’s surveillance focused on the conduct of Shaun Daniel Fitzgerald, of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, while he was an authorised representative of Financial Planning Services Australia between 9 December 2008 and 29 June 2010.
The surveillance found Mr Fitzgerald acted dishonestly and in breach of financial services laws, misappropriating $1.3 million from his clients.
The money was deposited into accounts of companies whose only director was Mr Fitzgerald and was not returned when requested by the clients.
Mr Fitzgerald’s conduct was bought to ASIC’s attention by Financial Planning Services Australia, which has cooperated fully with ASIC’s surveillance and advised ASIC of the compensation it has paid to clients.
ASIC banned Mr Fitzgerald to protect the public, deter similar conduct and maintain consumer confidence in the financial services sector.
Queensland Police has also laid several fraud related charges against Mr Fitzgerald stemming from his conduct.
Mr Fitzgerald has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision.
Mr Fitzgerald is a director of 360 Asset Management Pty Ltd and Zero Cost Base Pty Ltd. Mr Fitzgerald and 360 Asset Management were authorised representatives of Financial Planning Services Australia. Mr Fitzgerald provided financial advice to clients under the business name 360 Asset Management which was based in Birtinya, Queensland.