Sydney adviser cops permanent ban over $5m fraud
ASIC has permanently banned a Sydney-based financial adviser for misusing and depriving clients funds for personal gain.
The regulator has permanently banned Sydney-based financial adviser Gavin Fineff from providing any financial services, controlling a financial services business or performing any function involved in carrying on a financial services business.
Mr Fineff was an authorised representative of Sentinel Wealth Management Pty Limited (Sentinel) in Sydney, from 12 December 2011 to 20 March 2020. He was also a responsible manager under Sentinel’s Australian financial services licence from 12 November 2015 until 20 March 2020.
“ASIC found Mr Fineff had misused his position for personal gain and, as a consequence, deprived clients and others of their funds. Mr Fineff also engaged in misleading and dishonest conduct in that he sourced more than $5 million from clients and individuals as loans and, without their knowledge, gambled and lost a significant amount of those funds,” ASIC said.
“Mr Fineff was providing financial services outside of his authorisation from Sentinel and that he also acted in conflict, and competed, with Sentinel.”
As a result, ASIC found Mr Fineff breached financial services laws by failing to act in the best interests of his clients and engaging in unlicensed conduct, is likely to breach financial services laws in the future and is not adequately trained or competent to provide financial services, perform any function as an officer that carries on a financial services business or control an entity that carries a financial services business.
Mr Fineff is also not a fit and proper person to provide financial services, perform any function as an officer that carries on a financial services business or control an entity that carries a financial services business.
“ASIC determined that a permanent banning of Mr Fineff is necessary to prevent future harm to clients of financial services businesses,” the regulator stated.
Mr Fineff has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decisions.
Mr Fineff’s banning will be recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.
On 25 March 2020, ASIC received a breach notification lodged by Sentinel in relation to Mr Fineff, its now-former employee and financial adviser.
On 7 May 2021, Mr Fineff was arrested and charged by NSW Police with 18 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime. His first court appearance occurred on 26 May 2021 before Hornsby Local Court and his matter will return to the same court on 21 July 2021.