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Friday 2 August 2013

13-200MR Former mortgage broker pleads guilty to submitting false documents to lenders

A former mortgage broker has pleaded guilty to six charges including making false statements and providing false documents to lenders to secure approvals for home loans totalling almost $7.5 million.

Hee Seng Lee, 58, of Dural, submitted the loan applications between April 2006 and March 2011.

The 12 applications related to loans ranging from $160,000 to $1.5 million and included applications that were in his name. The false statements related to the income and/or employment of the applicant and the false documents included payslips, taxation returns and notices of assessment purportedly issued by the Australian Tax Office.

At the time of the offences Mr Lee was a director of A & H Vision Mortgage Group Pty Ltd which traded as H Lee’s Finance Co and Loan Care & Co. ASIC cancelled A & H Vision’s Australian Credit Licence on 3 January 2012.

Mr Lee appeared before the Downing Centre Local Court earlier this week and admitted to providing the applications and supporting documents to the lenders knowing they were false or misleading. Mr Lee also admitted to one charge of creating false documents.

The matter has been listed for sentence in the Sydney District Court on Friday 9 August 2013. Mr Lee has been granted conditional bail.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

Background

The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act) came into force on 1 July 2010 and regulates the conduct of all credit providers and credit assistance providers, such as brokers and intermediaries.

Mr Lee was charged under section 33 of the National Credit Act, which makes it an offence for a person engaging in credit activities to give false or misleading information or documents to another person where that person knows, or is reckless as to whether, such information or documents are false or misleading. The main purpose of this provision is to make it an offence for a person to submit an application for a credit contract or lease that is false or misleading.

For the conduct occurring after 1 July 2010, Mr Lee was charged with one offence under the National Credit Act the penalty for which is a fine of up to $11,000 or 2 years imprisonment, or both. The other 5 charges were laid under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), which carry maximum penalties of either 5 years imprisonment or 10 years imprisonment.

Mr Lee is the third person in the last 12 months to plead guilty to charges brought by ASIC in relation to submitting fraudulent loan applications to lenders (refer: 13-145MR and 13-008MR). ASIC has also banned eight individuals from engaging in credit activities where they have been involved in similar misconduct.

Editor's note 1:

In the Sydney District Court on 9 August 2013 the matter was heard and stood over for sentencing on 27 September 2013. Mr Lee's bail was continued.

Editor's note 2:

On 27 September 2013 following sentencing submissions, the matter was adjourned to 25 October 2013 for sentence.

Editor's note 3:

On 25 October 2013 the matter was heard for sentence and further stood over to 6 December 2013 for Mr Lee to be referred for assessment of an Intensive Correction Order.

Last updated: 28/10/2013 12:00