Former Patersons Securities WA state manager Lewis Fellowes has been charged with using nearly $1.6 million in clients’ money for his personal use, and could be looking at up to 12 years behind bars.
Following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Mr Fellowes, a stockbroker, was banned from providing financial services in March last year.
The corporate watchdog found he had transferred more than $480,000 in client funds from their margin lending accounts into his personal account, as well as his wife’s, without the clients’ knowledge.
It was also revealed he had transferred $1 million from an unnamed client’s bank account into his own.
At the Brisbane Magistrates Court today, Mr Fellowes was charged with three accounts of dishonestly applying $1.59 million belonging to another to his own use while he was providing financial services in Gladstone, in Queensland, between July 2008 and July 2010.
He was not required to enter a plea and was granted conditional bail.
The matter is listed for return to the court in May. If convicted, Mr Fellowes faces up to 12 years’ imprisonment.
Mr Fellowes provided financial advice from 1995 to 2009 in Gladstone, before moving to Perth in 2010 to become Patersons state manager of private clients.
He came under investigation by Asic after Patersons submitted a voluntary report claiming Mr Fellowes had engaged in misconduct beginning at his former role at Tolhurst Group in Gladstone.
Mr Fellowes became branch manager of Patersons Gladstone after a merger with Tolhurst in 2009.