On 31 January 2023, former financial adviser John Wertheimer was convicted and sentenced in the Perth District Court for one count of providing a financial service on behalf of a person who carries on a financial services business while unauthorized to do so and one count of engaging in dishonest conduct about a financial service.
Mr. Wertheimer was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment, to be released forthwith after entering into a recognizance release order for $5,000 to be of good behavior for 18 months. Mr. Wertheimer was also fined $5,000 for each of the two offenses.
Between 1 May 2020 and 21 May 2020, Mr. Wertheimer made 48 unauthorized transactions on the trading accounts of clients using the Netwealth online trading platform. Between 29 May 2020 and 22 July 2020, Mr. Wertheimer also lodged five hard copy investment instruction documents with Netwealth, which contained forged signatures, purporting to relay instructions to deal with financial products on behalf of clients.
As a result of his conviction, Mr. Wertheimer is also automatically disqualified from being a company director for five years.
Mr. Wertheimer had previously pleaded guilty to the two charges on 16 September 2022 (22-257MR).
In sentencing Mr. Wertheimer, her Honour Judge Gillan noted the persistent nature of Mr. Wertheimer’s conduct and the importance of general deterrence for offenses of this nature.
Mitigating factors including Mr. Wertheimer’s cooperation, early guilty pleas, and the fact that Mr. Wertheimer did not personally benefit from the transactions were also taken into account by Judge Gillan when handing down the sentence.
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after a referral from ASIC.