A former insurance broker has been sentenced to 18 months jail following an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.

Bruce Lawrence Wickett, 69, was last week sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to 18 months in jail with a non-parole period of eight months.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of theft in February 2013 after an ASIC investigation found he stole $662,198.31 between August 2010 and March 2011.

Wickett was the director of Wickett Investments Pty Ltd and Wickett Insurance Broking Pty Ltd, through which he operated his insurance broking business.

The regulator’s investigation found that Wickett stole the money, which represented insurance premiums paid by clients to his insurance broking business, instead of passing the funds on to the relevant insurance companies as required.

ASIC alleged that he sent the money overseas to a person he had met online, and with whom he subsequently developed a relationship.

Deputy chairman Peter Kell said that as a result of Wickett failing to pass on to the relevant insurance companies the money he held on behalf of his clients, there existed the potential for clients to be exposed to losses because they had no insurance cover.

“Putting individuals at risk of potential losses by blatantly stealing money for personal benefit will not be tolerated,” Kell said.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions brought the matter to court.