ASIC has found itself facing heat over its handling of an alleged $110m home loan fraud case.
Najam Shah and Aizaz Hassan of Footscray Company Myra Home Loan Pty Ltd earlier this week were arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud over ASIC’s allegations that they conspired to defraud banks by creating and using false documents in support of home loans and house and land packages. ASIC said the alleged conspiracy involved false documents for more than 300 loan applications to lenders including Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, St George, Bankwest, Adelaide Bank, ANZ
, Bank of Queensland
, Choice Home Loans, Citibank
, Pepper and Suncorp.
Now ASIC is facing criticism over its lag in taking action in the case, The Australian has reported
. The Australian said Hassan was, until his arrest Tuesday, still operating as a licensed mortgage broker. His license was only cancelled after media coverage of the allegations, the paper claimed.
Labor senator Sam Dastyari has now called for ASIC to be brought before the Senate economics committee next month to explain its lag in cracking down on the brokers.
“This is outrageous. It’s once again a demonstration of ASIC failing to act when all the evidence is before them,” Dastyari told The Australian
Dastyari claimed that the issue was not the regulator’s lack of power, but that it was not using the powers it already had.
“For those of us who have increasingly lost faith in ASIC’s ability to be the tough cop on the beat, situations like this reinforce the view, as Greg Medcraft said, that Australia is becoming a paradise for white collar criminals. There is this constant failure to act.”