A former financial advisor has been sentenced to 41 months after stealing nearly $400,000 in commissions from fake insurance applications.
Susan Heathwood of Randwick, New South Wales, received a suspended sentence and entered two-year good behaviour bond of $1000, in the Downing Centre District Court. Heathwood was permanently banned from providing financial advice or services in March 2012, following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
The false life insurance applications were submitted between August 2009 and May 2011 while Heathwood was a representative for GuardianFP, which is now called Guardian Advice, and employed by Jalee Consulting Group. Heathwood pleaded guilty on June 26 to two counts of dishonest conduct.
Insurance companies have clawed back about $327,000 in commissions paid to Heathwood, who used information about real clients to fill out the forms, even though her clients never requested the insurance. She used information about their smoker status, heigh weight, drinking habits and occupation, but changed their personal contact information so they could not be identified, according to ASIC. Instead, she wrote her own post office box or telephone number, or the old numbers of her children, on the application forms.
Heathwood also paid about $50,000 in premiums to ensure the policies were activated.