A former insurance broker has been jailed for stealing more than $660,000 of his clients' money and sending it overseas to a woman he supposedly met online.
Bruce Lawrence Wickett, 69, was sentenced in the Victorian County Court on Friday to 18 months in jail with a non-parole period of eight months. He pleaded guilty to three counts of theft for stealing $662,198 between August 2010 and March 2011.
The money was stolen from his clients, and represented insurance premiums paid to his insurance broking business. He was supposed to pass the money on to various insurance companies.
The corporate regulator alleges Mr Wickett instead sent the money overseas to a woman he had met online, "and who he subsequently developed an online relationship with". He met the woman, Toby Lola Dallas, through the RSVP website.
Deputy chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Peter Kell said Mr Wickett's actions exposed his clients to losses because it meant they had no insurance cover.
"Putting individuals at risk of potential losses by blatantly stealing money for personal benefit will not be tolerated," Mr Kell said.
At the time of the offences, Mr Wickett was the sole director of Wickett Investments and Wickett Insurance Broking, through which he operated his insurance broking business.