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Dishonest NZ adviser sentenced

A former financial adviser from New Zealand who forged clients’ initials and falsely amended insurance applications has been sentenced to 150 hours’ community work and six months’ community detention.

Anthony Wilson was also ordered to pay reparations of almost $NZ16,500 ($15,600).

He had earlier admitted four charges under the Crimes Act, brought by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) at Auckland District Court.

Wilson admitted three charges of making a false document for pecuniary advantage and one charge of dishonestly using a document for pecuniary advantage.

He submitted three applications for insurance after forging clients’ initials, and in one case falsely amended the application form.

The offences related to disclosure of pre-existing medical conditions, and Wilson’s actions led to an insurer avoiding a claim over a breach of the duty of good faith. The judge described this as a “profound” aggravating factor, which caused “significant distress and hardship”.

FMA General Counsel Nick Kynoch says the offending represented an “abuse of trust” that was clearly premeditated.

“The relationship between clients and advisers is based on trust and this is critical to the integrity of the sector,” he said.

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