NSW accountant pleads guilty to misappropriating client funds
An accountant and former financial adviser has pleaded guilty to two charges of making false or misleading statements to obtain money from clients and fraudulent misappropriation of client funds.
Following an ASIC investigation, Nicholas James Ellis, admitted to sending 10 letters and an email, containing false and misleading statements, to clients for the purpose of raising investment funds from them to purchase a hotel in Tura, NSW through his company, Tura Pty Limited.
The Valentine-based accountant also pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre District court to fraudulently misappropriating over $500,000 of client funds received by Tura Pty Limited for his own purposes.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter, which has been set down for a sentence hearing at the NSW District Court on 26 April 2018.
ASIC had previously banned Ellis from providing financial services for a period of six years for dishonest conduct including failing to invest money received from a client and making dishonest statements to a client about where their money was to be invested.
Under S178BB of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), obtaining money by false and misleading statements carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, while fraudulent misappropriation carries a seven-year sentence under S178A.