Victim reveals deathbed scam Funds taken as partners lay dying
CROOKED financial planner Brad Sherwin took funds off customers as their partners were dying, according to a devastating victim impact statement.
The deathbed claim was raised as Sherwin, who wiped out clients’ savings in a $60 million collapse, was jailed yesterday for 10 years for fraud.
Sherwin had almost 400 clients through his Brisbane-based Sherwin Financial Planners and other companies. They lost large chunks of their superannuation savings when his companies went belly up in early 2013 in a $60 million collapse.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigations subsequently revealed a Ponzi scheme of investor funds being used for purposes of which the clients were unaware. Sherwin, 63, for decades nurtured a loyal customer base, which included friends. Victim Nigel Jeffares, who helped create a support group after the collapse, told the court of losing his own $370,000 and hearing others’ horror stories of deception.
“Sherwin’s deathbed strategy of getting business when totally insolvent has impacted on me,” Mr Jeffares said. “(Victims) have experienced Sherwin standing at the end of the deathbed, arm around the survivor to be, promising the dying person that he would look after them.”
Sherwin must serve at least four years before the possibility of parole, under the ruling handed down on Tuesday from Judge Julie Dick in Brisbane’s District Court. “You have blighted their (clients’) lives,” Justice Dick said to Sherwin. Former clients packed the court to hear the sentence, filling the 50 seats and standing when none were available. They clapped as Sherwin was escorted to prison. The sentence marks a massive scandal for the emerging selfmanaged superannuation fund sector, which is used by more than 1.1 million Australians.
Sherwin pleaded guilty to committing 24 counts of fraud between 2009 and 2012 to Sherwin Financial clients, receiving a 10-year sentence. He also admitted to one count of breaching his duties as chairman of property financier Wickham Securities between June 2010 and October 2010, getting one year in jail to be served at the same time.