A former insurance broker was sentenced today to 18 months imprisonment after stealing clients’ money and sending it to his online lover overseas.
Bruce Lawrence Wickett, director of Wickett Investments Pty Ltd and Wickett Insurance Broking Pty Ltd, was sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to 18 months in jail with a non-parole period of eight months.
Wickett pleaded guilty to three charges of theft in February 2013 after an ASIC investigation found he stole $662,198.31 between August 2010 and March 2011.
ASIC's investigation found that Wickett stole the money, which represented insurance premiums paid by some 228 clients to his insurance broking business, instead of passing the funds on to the relevant insurance companies as required.
ASIC alleged that Wickett sent the money overseas to a person he had met online, and who he subsequently developed an online relationship with.
Deputy chairman Peter Kell said that as a result of Wickett failing to pass on to the relevant insurance companies the money he held on behalf of his clients, there existed the potential for clients to be exposed to losses because they had no insurance cover.
“Putting individuals at risk of potential losses by blatantly stealing money for personal benefit will not be tolerated,” Kell said.