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Guilty plea over defrauding SMSFs

A Sydney woman has pleaded guilty in the New South Wales District Court to two charges of dishonestly obtaining client funds and one charge of dealing with client funds from the proceeds of crime.

The charges were brought against Sarah Busteed as a result of an Australian Securities and Investments Commission investigation into the services she provided to SMSF members.

The charges against Busteed alleged she obtained $57,000 by way of deception and dishonest means from a law firm and an additional $36,000 from a client’s SMSF during 2012. It was also alleged she obtained $163,968 from the same client’s SMSF – funds she knew were from the proceeds of crime.

Busteed used the money for various purposes, including her own personal expenses.

The two charges of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment under section 192E of the NSW Crimes Act 1900.

The charge of dealing with the proceeds of crime carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment or a $132,000 fine or both under section 400.1(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

A sentencing hearing for Busteed is due to take place in the NSW District Court on 21 June 2018. In the meantime, she has been refused bail.

The matters are being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Busteed is already serving a custodial term arising from other offences involving dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage.

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