Former CBA Adviser Pleads Guilty to Forgery

A former adviser with Commonwealth Financial Planning (CommFP) has pleaded guilty to forgery, five years after he was permanently banned by ASIC.

Ricky David Gillespie, of Southport, Queensland, who was a senior financial planner for CommFP between 2006 and 2009, pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court to one rolled-up charge alleging the forgery of 33 documents.

In the hearing, which took place on 24 October, ASIC alleged that between 1 January 2007 and 13 June 2009, Gillespie forged the signatures of clients on documents, including applications for financial products and on a series of internal CommFP documents.

ASIC also alleged the purpose of the forgeries was to meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Bank’s internal audit process.

Gillespie was permanently banned from providing financial advice in 2012, following an ASIC investigation in 2008 and 2009 which found he forged clients’ signatures on documents and created false file notes.

ASIC also found Gillespie engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by providing a marketing letter which contained representations that were false or misleading, provided advice to a client that was not appropriate in the circumstances, and charged excessive fees.

The matter, which is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, first reached the court on 5 September 2016 and will return to court on 12 December 2017 for sentencing.