A former lending officer has been sentenced in court after pleading guilty to five charges of giving misleading information in loan applications.
Bassem Fares of Sydney, NSW, a former lending officer with Firstfolio Services Pty Ltd, was yesterday (26 May) sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, to be served by way of an Intensive Corrections Order, after pleading guilty to five charges of giving misleading information in the course of engaging in a credit activity.
The sentence comes with conditions that he should perform 100 hours of community service and take part in rehabilitation.
The case was brought to court by the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, who prosecuted the matter on behalf of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
According to an ASIC investigation, between December 2013 and March 2014, Mr Fares created 12 payslips, six income tax payment summaries and three letters of employment to support five loan applications for clients who wanted to obtain loans.
Mr Fares submitted the false documents with ING Direct (Australia) Ltd and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd, who then provided loans to two applicants for a total of $1,066,000.
Once Firstfolio became aware that the loan documents were misleading, they cancelled the loan applications for the three other applicants.
At the time, the maximum penalty for a breach of section 160D(2) was imprisonment for two years. The maximum penalty has since been increased to five years imprisonment.
ASIC banned Mr Fares from engaging in credit activity in September 2015.
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Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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