A former Get Approved Finance broker has pleaded guilty to seven counts of giving false information and one fraud charge following an investigation by ASIC.
Banned broker Peter Lachlan McDonald has appeared before the Perth Magistrates Court to enter a plea in relation to allegations of vehicle finance fraud.
ASIC alleges that, between January 2013 and April 2013, Mr McDonald, in the course of brokering four motor vehicle finance contracts, provided the lender Esanda with false information.
At the time of the conduct, Mr McDonald was working for Get Approved Finance (the company was deregistered in September 2017).
It is alleged that Mr McDonald had previously advised his clients, who had poor credit histories, that they would be approved for vehicle finance if their loan applications were supported by guarantors.
However, according to ASIC, Mr McDonald then changed the guarantors of the loans to the named borrowers (i.e. the persons who would ultimately own the vehicle to be financed).
In two further loan applications, Mr McDonald is alleged to have provided information to the former ANZ-owned car lender Esanda that falsely represented insurance quotes as issued insurance policies. This was reportedly done because Esanda required all financed vehicles to be insured before loans were approved.
In one additional application, it is alleged that Mr McDonald inserted what purported to be his client’s signature on an extended warranty policy and submitted that document to Esanda (the client having agreed to purchase the extended warranty).
The banned broker is also alleged to have acted fraudulently by artificially interposing a third-party vendor while representing to his client that the vehicle being purchased on credit was being sourced directly from a car dealership. In doing so, he gained a pecuniary benefit for himself.
The false information charges carry maximum penalties of one-year imprisonment and fines of $10,200, and the fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment and a fine of $24,000.
At the court hearing, Mr McDonald entered a plea of guilty to the charges and was bailed to appear on 10 May 2018 for sentencing.
He is one of several Get Approved Finance brokers who have been banned by ASIC from both the credit and financial services industries.
In October 2015, ANZ agreed to compensate more than 70 borrowers for car loans organised by Get Approved Finance.
[Related: Brokerage sees fifth loan writer banned]