Justice for ripped-off retirees

A former financial planner from Brisbane has received a 10-year prison sentence for stealing almost $10 million from 39 trusting retirees seeking his advice.

Brad Thomas Sherwin, 62, was sentenced in the District Court in Brisbane following charges brought up after an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation into the $60 million collapse of his financial planning business.

Mr Sherwin received an additional 12 months for breaching his duties as director. He will be eligible for parole in four years.

He ran Sherwin Financial Planners and was a director in associated companies. He offered advice to help clients establish self-managed super funds into which money from their existing super funds would be rolled. When the clients’ money was held in his bank account he instructed the bank to use it to pay off his debts.

Before deciding on an appropriate sentence, Judge Julie Dick heard statements from some of his victims.

“It is difficult for me to articulate how difficult the past five years have been – I’ve experienced shock, grief, rage, helplessness and hopelessness,” Beverly Holliday said in a statement to the court.

“I have been denied the life I wish to live and I strongly consider he does not deserve the same liberties that I have lost as a result of his actions.”

Another victim, Amanda Spann, said: “What I am failing to understand is how anyone can treat good, honest, hardworking people the way he has.

“It makes me sick to the stomach how Sherwin’s collapses affected me – I had withdrawn from a beautiful relationship … I find myself looking for someone’s ulterior motive.”

Mr Sherwin’s lawyer plans to launch an appeal, saying his client is “definitely remorseful but it’s of little comfort as you heard from the victims”.

The former adviser has been permanently banned from providing financial services.

For full details of the case visit www.asic.gov.au

Do you think Mr Sherwin’s sentence is just?

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