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ASIC wins appeal over fine with no conviction

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have won an appeal against the sentence of former senior financial planner Ricky David Gillespie.

Mr Gillespie, who worked at Commonwealth Financial Planning in Brisbane, was fined $3000 in the Brisbane Magistrates’ Court last December, with no conviction recorded after he pleaded guilty to a charge of forgery.

The DPP lodged an appeal that the sentence was manifestly inadequate, particularly the decision not to record a conviction.

Brisbane District Court Judge Jennifer Rosengren ordered that a conviction be recorded against Mr Gillespie. She noted he had denied committing forgery when confronted by bank staff, yet had continued with the practice.

ASIC banned Mr Gillespie in November 2012, finding that he forged client signatures, provided inappropriate advice, created false file notes, charged excessive fees and failed to comply with financial services laws.