Two men associated with a Melbourne mortgage broker have been sentenced for conspiring to defraud financial institutions for millions of dollars.
Mr Aizaz Hassan, 35, and Mr Mohamed Radhi Maki Ebrahim Ahmed, 29, both of Victoria, were today convicted in the Victorian County Court of conspiring to defraud financial institutions and were each sentenced to five-year Community Corrections Orders, with special conditions including to undertake 400 hours of community service.
Both men had pleaded guilty to one count each of common law conspiracy to defraud, resulting from an ASIC investigation.
The charge concerned both men's role at finance broking company, Myra Home Loan Pty Ltd, trading as Myra Financial Services (Myra) (no longer trading), located in Footscray, Victoria and their involvement in the creation and use of false documents in support of home loan applications.
Mr Hassan and Mr Ahmed, both admitted to conspiring with Najam Shah, to defraud financial institutions through the provision of false documents in support of home loan applications submitted on behalf of Myra clients.
Both men's plea of guilty was an important factor in the judge's decision. Her Honour Judge Lawson noted that but for the guilty pleas, and other factors, the men would both have been sentenced to five years' imprisonment, with a minimum of three years to serve.
Her Honour said Mr Hassan and Mr Ahmed were 'important cogs' in what she described as a 'sophisticated and sustained' operation, which was a 'very serious offence'.
“Document fraud in support of loan applications has a detrimental effect not only on the lenders, but on the borrowers who should not have entered these loans in the first place,” ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
“ASIC will continue to prosecute cases such as this to ensure that consumers can have trust and confidence in the lending industry."
ASIC alleged that Mr Hassan participated in the conspiracy with Mr Shah from about March 2008 to August 2010, and that Mr Ahmed joined the conspiracy from December 2009 until December 2011, when ASIC executed search warrants and the business ceased operating.
The Myra business involved the creation of false documents, including payslips, bank statements, citizenship documents and statutory declarations. Those documents were submitted in support of home loan applications to the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, St George Bank, Bankwest, Adelaide Bank, ANZ Bank, Bank of Queensland, Choice Home Loans, Citibank, National Australia Bank, Pepper Homeloans and Suncorp Bank.
Approximately 600 loan applications were prepared and submitted through the Myra operation to these financial institutions during the period of the conspiracy, with the total value of approved home loans (approximately 520 loans) being approximately $170 million.
Both Mr Hassan and Mr Ahmed admitted to their involvement in creating and submitting false documents and information in support of loan applications.
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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