A former Aussie Home Loans mortgage broker has been convicted in a Brisbane court on eight charges relating to home loan fraud.
Emma Feduniw, also known as Emma Khalil, was today convicted and fined $8,500 in Beenleigh Magistrates Court.
The conviction came after Ms Feduniw admitted providing documents in support of eight loan applications submitted to Westpac Banking Corporation despite knowing 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, ASIC said in a statement.
In sentencing Ms Feduniw, Magistrate Anne Thacker acknowledged that she 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 it 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 cannot afford.
“ASIC will continue to ensure that mortgage brokers who provide false documentation are held to account,” Mr Kell said.
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.
On 4 April 2014, Aussie terminated Ms Feduniw's authorisation to provide credit services as a credit representative of the company.
Feduniw received her commission through Miga Loans (ACN 106 962 467), a company owned and controlled 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 while 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 she had forged a false document.
Since becoming the national regulator of consumer credit in 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.