Former Perth Insurance Broker sentenced to imprisonment for dishonest conduct

Sergio Amaranti has been sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 18-months, in the District Court of Western Australia after earlier pleading guilty to seven counts of dishonest conduct.

Between 6 January 2009 and 14 October 2015, Amaranti engaged in dishonest conduct by diverting 51 client refunds to personal accounts held in his name, totalling $199,391.32. These 51 refunds were owed to 35 clients from Phoenix Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd (Phoenix) for cancellations and adjustments of their insurance policies.

He was employed as a Director of Phoenix from 25 January 2002 to 25 February 2016 and was a senior insurance broker with Phoenix from 2000 to 2015.

“Mr Amaranti was a Director and senior insurance broker who used money owed to his clients for his own benefit. His deliberate actions breached the trust that must exist between insurance brokers and their clients,” ASIC Commissioner John Price said.

Upon sentencing, Justice Vernon remarked: “Offending of this type undermines the trust of the community and customers of Phoenix and the trust that the community has in members of your profession. This is a breach of trust of clients, employers, co-directors and co-workers. When this trust is misplaced, this is the most important factor in sentencing.”

ASIC permanently banned Amaranti, from the financial services industry in November 2016 and as a result of this conviction, he is automatically disqualified from managing companies for five years.