A Victorian man has been convicted in the Ringwood Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to one charge of dishonestly using his position as a car finance manager with the intention of personal gain.
An ASIC statement released today (15 September) explained that Mr Christopher Robert Con Foo, of Donvale, Victoria, was convicted, fined $2,500 and ordered to pay costs.
Mr Con Foo was employed by South Yarra BMW, a car dealership operated by Bayford Group Pty Ltd. His role was to arrange car finance on behalf of customers. In October 2015, Mr Con Foo falsified two letters from accounting firms that were used in support of car loan applications submitted to BMW Australia Finance Ltd on behalf of two clients. In one case, the accountant's letter was altered to substantially inflate the client's business income without the client's or accountant's knowledge.
"Submitting fake documents so that your client can get a car loan isn't a smart sales tactic — it's illegal," ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said.
"Where ASIC becomes aware of such conduct, we will take action. ASIC also expects lenders to ensure [that] their compliance processes capture and prevent these fraudulent applications."
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
In May 2017, ASIC banned Mr Con Foo from engaging in credit activity and from providing financial services for seven years.
ASIC acknowledges the assistance of the Bayford Group Pty Ltd in the investigation.
ASIC has taken action against a number of other loan-writers, representatives or brokers operating in the car finance market for unscrupulous conduct such as:
- Falsifying or using false information to get loans for consumers who might not otherwise be eligible for a loan.
- Obtaining cars for consumers with poor credit histories by arranging for a third party to sign the loan contract as a borrower (when that person thought they were only a guarantor).
- Arranging for the consumer to buy a car at an inflated sale price, and obtaining a secret profit from the mark-up price.
- Financing insurance and warranty products without the knowledge or consent of the consumers.