Kyneton Financial Adviser Pleads Guilty To $1.3 Million Fraud – ASIC

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Former financial adviser, Mr Matthew David Leech, now of Mathoura, New South Wales, today pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court to 19 fraud-related charges that were laid following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Leech pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and 13 counts of obtaining either a financial advantage or property by deception involving the misappropriation of approximately $1.3 million. Mr Leech also pleaded guilty to one count of creating false documents and one count of using his position as a director of a company, Nataimosh Pty Ltd, to gain a personal financial advantage in the amount of $51,450.
The County Court heard that Mr Leech, age 35, was a financial advisor who had worked for an accounting practice in Kyneton, Victoria since 1997. From 1998 to 2005, Mr Leech misappropriated funds from 15 different clients (including superannuation and workers’ compensation lump sum payments).

On 24 October 2006, ASIC permanently banned Mr Leech from providing financial services.
Mr Leech was bailed on his own undertaking to appear in the County Court in Melbourne for sentencing on a date to be fixed.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

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