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Ex-broker pleads guilty, fined for fraud

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Reporter 4 minute read

A former finance broker at a used car dealership has been fined after pleading guilty to four charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Former Victoria-based finance broker Vaughn Thomas Hopkins appeared at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to the charges, which were contrary to section 82 (1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Victoria).

The charges have followed an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) into Mr Hopkins’ conduct between 2014 and 2015 while he was a finance broker at Combined Motor Traders, a Cranbourne used car dealership.

ASIC alleged that Mr Hopkins obtained car loans by submitting loan applications for four customers supported by false documents that had not been provided to him by the customers.

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The loans totalled $61,109.40 and were approved by Esanda, which was a division of ANZ at that time.

Mr Hopkins was paid commission based on the loans that he arranged.

Following his guilty plea, Mr Hopkins was sentenced to a fine of $3,000, which ASIC said was imposed without conviction.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions after an investigation and referral of a prosecution brief by ASIC.

In 2016, ASIC permanently banned Mr Hopkins from engaging in credit activities. At the time, ASIC said that it found that Mr Hopkins knowingly provided false information to Esanda in support of car finance applications for nine of his clients.

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ASIC had also said that all nine applications contained false payslips, while in three of the applications, Mr Hopkins had also falsely inflated his clients’ assets. Each of the nine finance applications was approved.

[Related: Ex-broker charged with fraud]

Ex-broker pleads guilty, fined for fraud
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