10/10/2008 - 09:22

ASIC permanently bans Westpoint adviser

10/10/2008 - 09:22

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The corporate watchdog has permanently banned Neil Burnard from providing financial services for his role in the collapsed Westpoint group.

The corporate watchdog has permanently banned Neil Burnard from providing financial services for his role in the collapsed Westpoint group.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission made the move after the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution heeded its request to lodge an appeal in relation to a sentence handed down by a New South Wales court.

In August Mr Burnard was handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence and a $50,000 fine after being found guilty of nine criminal charges following ASIC's investigation into Palentia Pty Ltd, formerly Kebbel (NSW) Pty Ltd.

The investigation formed part of a broader enquiry into the collapse of Westpoint.

ASIC said Mr Burnard has the right to appeal the permanent ban.

Overall 18, licensed advisers and four unlicensed advisor who provided advice in relation to Westpoint products have been banned.

 

Below is the ASIC announcement:

 

Mr Neil Austin Burnard of Sydney, New South Wales, has been permanently banned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) from providing financial services.

On 6 May 2008, Mr Burnard was found guilty by a jury on nine criminal charges arising from ASIC's investigation into the affairs of Kebbel (NSW) Pty Ltd, now known as Palentia Pty Ltd, which formed part of a broader enquiry into the collapse of the Westpoint Group of companies.

Mr Burnard was charged under the Crimes Act of New South Wales with obtaining a financial advantage for five Westpoint mezzanine companies by making or publishing statements that he was a director of 'Kebbel Investment Bank' between 1 July 2003 and 30 November 2004; this entity did not exist.

Mr Burnard, of Sydney, New South Wales, was sentenced on 22 August 2008 in the New South Wales District Court to 12 months imprisonment suspended on condition he be of good behaviour for the period of the sentence.

He was also fined $50,000. On 2 October 2008, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions lodged an appeal in relation to the sentence in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal. The Court also heard that Mr Burnard intends to appeal his conviction. Refer to ASIC advisory for further details.

Mr Burnard has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision to permanently ban him from providing financial services.

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