Former financial adviser pleads guilty to dishonesty charges

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This banned planner has pleaded guilty to no less than 52 charges of engaging in dishonest conduct in which he misappropriated more than $3.1m of client funds.

Robert Owen Bean, a former financial planner from St Peters, South Australia, has today pleaded guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to charges brought by ASIC.

According to an ASIC statement, between 30 June 2003 and 30 June 2010 – while he was a director of BCFR Financial Services Group and authorised representative of Charter Financial Planning – Bean transferred money from eight of his clients’ investment or superannuation accounts into a bank account he had opened in the clients’ names without their knowledge.

ASIC added that the money was used to pay other unrelated clients to maintain expected investment returns or pension payments from investments that Bean had recommended, while a portion of the funds was also used to support Bean's lifestyle.

The offences each carry a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment, a fine of $22,000 or both.

“Bean’s conduct was brought to ASIC's attention by BCFR and Charter, who have cooperated fully with ASIC's investigation. Charter has fully compensated all clients who had incurred losses as a result of Mr Bean’s offending,” said ASIC.

Bean was permanently banned from providing financial services in May 2011.

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