Alleged deceased estate theft triggers Adelaide court appearance for Adelaide financial adviser

Alleged deceased estate theft triggers Adelaide court appearance for Adelaide financial adviser
Alleged deceased estate theft triggers Adelaide court appearance for Adelaide financial adviser

Former Adelaide financial adviser, Robert Pryor Smith, has appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates’ Court after being charged with 27 dishonesty offences.

ASIC alleges that between 14 October 2010 and 12 July 2016, Mr Smith stole approximately $179,600 from a deceased estate of which he was executor, by transferring the money from the estate account to one of his own accounts. The property was jointly owned by the beneficiaries of the estate, who were charitable organisations.

The offences were allegedly committed when Mr Smith was a financial adviser of Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd (Futuro) and director of Advice 4 Wealth Pty Ltd (A4W), and when Mr Smith and Futuro were authorised representatives of A4W.

Mr Smith appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 7 June 2019. Mr Smith was placed on bail and was remanded to appear in the committal court on 23 July 2019.

Mr Smith faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for each offence committed prior to May 2012, or 15 years imprisonment for each offence committed after that time.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter following referral of a brief from ASIC.

Background

On 8 January 2018, ASIC took administrative action against Mr Smith, permanently banning him from providing financial services, on the basis that he was not of good fame or character.

Smith, of West Lakes, South Australia from providing financial services on the basis that he is not of good fame or character.

Mr Smith was an authorised representative for Futuro Financial Services Pty Ltd (Futuro) from 10 October 2008 to 12 September 2017. Mr Smith is also the sole director of Advice 4 Wealth Pty Ltd (Advice 4 Wealth) which has been an authorised representative for Futuro since 29 September 2008.

An ASIC investigation found that between 29 December 2008 and 12 July 2016, Mr Smith electronically transferred a total of $278,042.58 from the bank account of a deceased estate for which Mr Smith was the Trustee and Executor to bank accounts held in Mr Smith's name, or in the name of Advice 4 Wealth.

ASIC found that Mr Smith's conduct was designed to benefit his own interest and financial needs at the expense of the Estate and the beneficiaries. ASIC also found that Mr Smith's conduct was dishonest and that he made false statements about what happened to the Estate funds.

Tags: 
Adelaide Deceased Estate

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