On 2 October 2020, Mr Anthony Vivian Dick, a former Townsville financial adviser, was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years and eight months. Mr Dick was convicted following an ASIC investigation.
Mr Dick pleaded guilty to eleven counts of dishonestly applying to his own use, property belonging to another, contrary to sections 408C(1)(a), 408C(2)(c) and 408C(2)(d) of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Queensland).
Between March 2006 and December 2017, Mr Dick accessed and transferred around $1.1 million from his clients’ superannuation, pension and personal savings accounts.
Her Honour Judge Dick of the Townsville District Court noted that a head sentence of nine years’ imprisonment would have been appropriate, but for the self-reporting and co-operation of the defendant.
In sentencing Mr Dick, Her Honour described Mr Dick’s conduct as having had a significant impact on his victims and diminishing public trust in the financial services industry.
Following sentencing, ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan QC said, ‘Mr Dick has been found to have breached the trust of his clients, who included unsophisticated investors and intellectually disabled consumers whom he deliberately targeted.’
‘These vulnerable clients placed their trust in Mr Dick and relied heavily on him to manage their finances. His conduct involved a gross breach of this trust and resulted in significant losses for his clients over more than ten years. His sentencing should send a strong message that such conduct will lead to individuals involved being brought before the court to face criminal charges.’
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after a referral of a brief of evidence from ASIC.
ASIC’s investigation revealed that Mr Dick used his clients’ money to fund his lifestyle, including the amount of $72,000 to purchase and maintain a boat ().
Mr Dick previously provided financial advice on behalf of Jigsaw Support Services Limited, GWM Adviser Services Limited and most recently, Synchronised Business Services Pty Ltd. Synchronised Business Services ceased authorisation of Mr Dick in April 2018 and reported the matter to ASIC.