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16-186MR Former Aussie Home Loans mortgage broker convicted of loan fraud
Ms Emma Feduniw, also known as Emma Khalil, a former mortgage broker with AHL Investments Pty Ltd (trading as Aussie), has been convicted and sentenced today in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on eight charges relating to home loan fraud.
Ms Feduniw, of Brisbane, Queensland, was convicted and fined $8,500 after admitting she provided documents in support of eight loan applications submitted to Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) knowing that they contained false or misleading information. The applications contained letters which purported to be from the applicant's employer. These letters were false and often the loan applicant had never worked for the particular employer.
In sentencing Ms Feduniw, Magistrate Thacker acknowledged that Ms Feduniw had cooperated with ASIC, admitted to the offences and entered a plea of guilty at the earliest possible opportunity. However, Magistrate Thacker rejected the submission that this was a victimless crime, stating: 'It’s not a victimless crime when one looks at the necessity to protect the system from being impacted by fraud.'
ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell said, 'Mortgage brokers are entrusted by both borrowers and lenders to provide information that is accurate and truthful, to avoid borrowers taking on loans they can't afford. ASIC will continue to ensure that mortgage brokers who provide false documentation are held to account'.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) prosecuted the matter.
ASIC's investigation found that between March 2013 and February 2014, Ms Feduniw, while a mortgage broker of Aussie, submitted eight loan applications to Westpac totalling $2,720,400 that contained false borrower employment letters. Of the eight loan applications, five were approved and disbursed, totalling $1,608,400. Ms Feduniw received commission on those five loans of $6,847.53.
On 4 April 2014, Aussie terminated Ms Feduniw's authorisation to provide credit services as a credit representative of Aussie.
Ms Feduniw received her commission through Miga Loans Pty Ltd (ACN 106 962 467) a company controlled and owned by her.
On 1 April 2016, Ms Feduniw appeared in Beenleigh Magistrate's Court and pleaded guilty to eight charges under section 160D of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 whilst she was engaging in credit activity on behalf of Aussie.
Section 160D makes it an offence for a person engaging in credit activities to give false or misleading information or documents to another person.
Ms Feduniw was fined $1,000 for each of seven of the charges and $1,500 for a charge where Ms Feduniw had escalated her involvement to forging the false document.
Since becoming the national regulator of consumer credit on 1 July 2010, ASIC has taken 79 actions involving loan fraud, including 60 actions to ban individuals and companies from providing or engaging in credit services or holding an Australian credit licence. ASIC has also commenced 13 criminal proceedings involving loan fraud.