Former Sydney financial adviser pleads guilty to theft and director duties offences

Keith James Flowers, formerly known as Nigel Flowers, of Bathurst, New South Wales, has appeared before Downing Street District Court Sydney and pleaded guilty to one charge of acting dishonestly as a company director and one charge of theft.

Mr Flowers was the director of Flowers Financial Group Pty Ltd (in liquidation) and Flowers Financial Management Pty Ltd (in liquidation), which specialised in providing financial advice to the medical profession.

During 2011, Mr Flowers was a registered financial adviser and engaged in a scheme to raise money to fund a proposed IPO by Avior Australia Ltd (Avior). The scheme raised approximately $1.48 million.

Mr Flowers raised funds from long-term clients of Flowers Financial Management, establishing a trust account called 1Source Wholesale Investments Pty Ltd ITF Avior Pre-IPO Trust (trust account), to which he was the sole signatory, to collect his clients’ funds.

Mr Flowers pleaded guilty to a charge that, between June 2011 and April 2012, he used his position as a director dishonestly, with the intention of gaining advantage for either himself or Flowers Financial Management, by causing the transfer/withdrawal of $179,500 of seed capital.

Mr Flowers also pleaded guilty to a charge that, between April and May 2012, he committed larceny by withdrawing the $30,000 raised for the failed IPO after the float was cancelled. Mr Flowers did not return the funds to investors but stole the money and transferred it to accounts for his own benefit.

In February 2012 Mr Flowers was made bankrupt and in 2014 ASIC permanently disqualified Mr Flowers from providing financial services and banned him from engaging in credit activities.

Mr Flowers will be sentenced on 30 April 2021 in the Sydney District Court. The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

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