Former financial adviser, John Wertheimer, pleaded guilty last week in the Perth Magistrates Court to one charge of providing a financial service on behalf of a person who carries on a financial services business while unauthorised to do so.

Mr Wertheimer also admitted to one charge of engaging in dishonest conduct in relation to a financial service.

Mr Wertheimer was a financial adviser under his own company, John Wertheimer & Associates, before appointing Picture Wealth Advisory to service a group of clients.

According to ASIC, between 1 May and 21 May 2020, Mr Wertheimer made 48 unauthorised transactions on the Netwealth trading accounts belonging to 36 clients of Picture Wealth without the knowledge or authorisation of either the clients or Picture Wealth.

Moreover, between 29 May and 22 July 2020, Mr Wertheimer lodged five investment instruction documents with Netwealth that purported to relay instructions to deal with financial products on behalf of clients of Picture Wealth.

Those instruction documents contained forged signatures and, according to ASIC, were prepared and lodged without the knowledge or authorisation of four of the clients or Picture Wealth.

At the time of offending, Mr Wertheimer was not authorised by Picture Wealth or any other Australian Financial Services Licensee to provide financial services to clients.

The matter was committed to the District Court of Western Australia for a sentence mention hearing on 11 November 2022.

ASIC noted that Mr Wertheimer faces a combined maximum penalty of 20 years' imprisonment for the two charges. 

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