Former Gold Coast financial adviser and accountant Satvir Singh Birk was sentenced in the Southport District Court to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment, to be released after serving four months upon entering into a recognisance order of $10,000 upon the condition that he be of good behaviour for a period of two-and-a-half years.
The sentencing follows an investigation by ASIC who alleged that Birk had dishonestly used his position as director of the Carter Group with the intention of gaining an advantage, for himself or others, in the amount of about $800,000.
The charges relate to conduct between September 2010 and October 2011, while Birk was an authorised representative of Professional Investment Services (PIS) and a director of the Carter Group, which was a corporate authorised representative of PIS.
ASIC alleged that Birk had caused cheques to be drawn on a client’s superannuation account without authorisation; deceived some clients as to the use of funds withdrawn from their superannuation funds; deceived another client as to the price at which units in an unlisted registered managed investment scheme had been sold for and used a portion of the proceeds for the benefit of Birk’s father; and misled clients in relation to the value and other details of units they had purchased in an unlisted registered managed investment scheme.
“Mr Birk’s actions were dishonest and betrayed the trust of his clients. Today’s decision shows this type of behaviour will be met with serious consequences,” said ASIC commissioner Danielle Press.
Birk was a partner of Sa & Birk Accountants and later the Carter Group, located in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
In April 2014, Birk ceased his roles with Sa & Birk Accountants, the Carter Group and his authorised representative role with PIS was revoked.
In July 2017, ASIC permanently banned Birk from providing financial services.
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.