Former mortgage broker for Aussie Home Loans (AHL), 54-year-old Emma Feduniw of Greenbank Queensland, pleaded guilty on 3 June 2016 in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court to giving false information while engaging in credit activity.
Between 1 March 2013 and 7 April 2014—during her employment as a credit representative of AHL—Feduniw drafted false letters of employment on behalf of eight separate clients who were applying for loans.
Each letter was false because they either overstated the capacity the applicant was employed in, or falsely claimed the applicant was employed with a particular employer when they weren’t.
Feduniw then submitted these letters to Westpac Bank in support of her clients’ home loan applications.
Feduniw admitted she knew the content of six letters was false and that she was reckless as to the truth of the contents of the remaining two. In addition, she admitted to forging a signature on one of the letters.
Of the eight loan applications, five were approved and had funds disbursed to loan applicants totalling $1,608,400. Feduniw received $6,847.53 in commission on these loans.
Charge / Sentence
Feduniw was convicted on 3 June 2016 after a guilty plea in relation to:
Eight counts of giving misleading information contrary to section 160D(2) of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009
She was fined $1,000 for each charge one to seven to be paid within one month from 3 June 2016, and $1500 for charge eight, which related to the forged signature.
In sentencing, Her Honour Magistrate Thacker noted that five of the eight loans disbursed to applicants totaled a significant amount, and that even though none of the loan applicants had defaulted, that was a matter of pure luck.
She noted the offences were difficult to detect and that banks rely on the honesty of mortgage brokers. She noted the commission paid and the prolonged duration of offending, and found charge eight particularly serious as it involved Feduniw forging a signature.