Former WealthSure adviser jailed for six years for $500,000 fraud; Carsales.com to acquire controlling share in Stratton Finance: Midday Roundup

Former WealthSure adviser jailed for six years for $500,000 fraud; Carsales.com to acquire controlling share in Stratton Finance: Midday Roundup

A former financial adviser who worked for WealthSure has been sentenced to six years in jail, after pleading guilty to 22 fraud charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

In a statement released today, ASIC said Brian William Veitch plead guilty to 22 charges of using a false instrument during his employment at WealthSure between December 2005 and February 2010.

The list of charges brought by ASIC included 21 counts of using false withdrawal requests to cause fraudulent transfers of approximately $500,000 from seven clients’ accounts without their knowledge, and one count of providing a client with a false portfolio statement. In that instance, the client was led to believe $300,000 was in their account when it was not.

ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said in the statement Veitch’s actions “were planned and deliberate, demonstrating a complete disregard for the interests of his clients”.

“The sentence shows that the court views this sort of misconduct by financial advisers very seriously,” said Kell.

Carsales.com to acquire controlling share in Stratton Finance

Carsales.com will add a vehicle finance business to its armoury, with the company announcing today it has signed a binding agreement to purchase a controlling share of Stratton Finance for a consideration of $60.1 million.

In a statement, Carsales said it will acquire 50.1% of Stratton Finance, a vehicle finance company established in 1998 by its managing director Rob Chaloner. The predominantly online finance and insurance firm has a national presence, offering products for cars, boats, commercial vehicles, business equipment and property.

Carsales chief executive Greg Roebuck said in the statement Stratton has been a long-time advertising partner. “They have been an important customer of Carsales and we are confident that this transaction being together two businesses with very similar DNA and operating styles,” said Roebuck.

According to Carsales, the investment in Stratton will be funded by existing cash reserves and a debt facility with the National Australia Bank. The deal is subject to a number of conditions and expected to close in the first quarter of the 2015 financial year.

Local shares up

Aussie shares are slightly up this morning, ahead of today’s RBA decision.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 8.2 points to 5,403.9 points at 12:17pm AEDT. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 25.24 points or 0.15% down, to 16,826.6 points.

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