Former WA adviser charged with dishonest conduct
A former Western Australia-based financial adviser and his company have been charged with dishonest conduct over insurance advice provided to clients.
Former AMP financial adviser David Michael Fong and his Perth-based company Fong Financial Planners have each been charged with engaging in dishonest conduct while carrying on a financial services business.
“ASIC alleges that in 2014, while an authorised representative of AMP, Mr Fong via Fong Financial Planners acted dishonestly when he completed and submitted false information in clients’ insurance applications and failed to adequately disclose fees to clients,” ASIC stated.
“He also acted without client instructions; and failed to adequately disclose the effect of advice, for instance, clients becoming uninsured after closing their superannuation accounts.”
Mr Fong appeared before the Perth Magistrates Court on 19 November 2021 and was granted conditional bail.
The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. It has been listed for further mention on 14 January 2022.
In 2017, ASIC permanently banned Mr Fong from providing financial services or engaging in credit activities. Mr Fong appealed ASIC’s decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and the appeal process has stayed pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.
At the time of the offending, for an individual, the maximum penalty for engaging in dishonest conduct while providing financial advice and carrying on a financial services business was 10 years imprisonment, a fine of either $765,000 or three times the total value of the benefits reasonably attributable to the offence, or both.
At the time of the offending, for a company, the maximum penalty for engaging in dishonest conduct while providing financial advice and carrying on a financial services business was a fine of either $7,650,000 or three times the total value of the benefits reasonably attributable to the offence, or 10 per cent of turnover in the 12-month period ending at the end of the month in which the offence was committed.
Tony Zhang is a journalist at Accountants Daily, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the accounting sector.
Since joining the Momentum Media team in 2020, Tony has written for a range of its publications including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and SMSF Adviser. He has been full-time on Accountants Daily since September 2021.