ASIC permanent ban for convicted insurance broker

ASIC has permanently banned Tony Bashford, of Talbingo, New South Wales from providing financial services and engaging in credit activities following convictions for fraud in Port Macquarie Local Court.

Bashford was an insurance broker authorised by Elders Insurance (Underwriting Agency) Pty Ltd. Through his company, which was also authorised by Elders, he operated four insurance agencies under the Elders brand.

An internal investigation by Elders found that Mr Bashford was making fraudulent claims on customers policies without their knowledge and receiving the claims payments.

In proceedings commenced by NSW police, Bashford pleaded guilty to seven counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception. Mr Bashford was convicted of all charges and sentenced to fourteen months imprisonment. He is appealing the length of the sentence.

Bashford has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision. Under the Corporations Act, ASIC may make a banning order to prohibit a person from engaging in financial services if the person is convicted of a serious fraud.