Broker given three-year sentence over funding scam

A former Adelaide insurance broker has been given a three-and-a-half year jail sentence, after faking premium funding applications for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Paul Meier, formerly the Director of Barker Meier Insurance Brokers, was found guilty of 16 counts of dishonestly dealing with documents and sentenced to three years and seven months in prison, to be wholly suspended.

In his sentencing, South Australia District Court Judge Simon Stretton hit out at ASIC for its handling of the case, describing the fact it did not prosecute Meier as “unbelievable”.

Instead, ASIC accepted an enforceable undertaking from Meier.

Barker Meier Insurance Brokers was founded in 1991 and Meier was a co-owner.

When the firm hit financial trouble in 2010, Meier began filling out premium funding applications in clients’ names for fictional insurance policies, eventually securing loans totaling more than $1 million.

In 2013, Meier’s company went into liquidation, leaving creditors unpaid.

In addressing Meier, Stretton said: “Offending such as yours is serious and difficult to detect. Indeed but for the failure of your business, it is unlikely that it would have ever been detected.

“Those involved in the financial services industry need to understand this type of conduct is not acceptable and will be met with significant sanction.”

Stretton suspended the jail term in favour of 300 hours of community service, a three-year good behaviour bond and 15 months under supervision.