Broker sentenced in $170m home loan conspiracy

by AB09 Oct 2017
Najam Shah, 58, of Victoria, has been sentenced to five years jail after pleading guilty to one charge of conspiring to defraud financial institutions. Shah must serve three years and three months before being eligible for parole.

The sentencing follows an ASIC investigation into Footscray-based finance broking company Myra Home Loans, which traded as Myra Financial Services (Myra).

The charge relates to Shah's role at Myra and the creation and use of false documents to support loan applications valued at a total of approximately $170m.

On 13 February 2017, Shah entered the guilty plea during an appearance at the County Court of Victoria. Shah’s plea followed his arrest and charge in January 2015. By pleading guilty, Shah admitted to conspiring to defraud financial institutions.

In sentencing Shah, Judge Gucciardo noted that mortgage fraud of this nature damages the integrity of the lending system and that Shah's well organised deception enabled such corruption. He further noted that Shah was motivated by greed.

ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said, "ASIC will continue to ensure that mortgage brokers who provide false documentation are held to account. Today's sentencing reflects both the severity of Mr Shah's actions and the consequences facing those who do not abide by the law."

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

ASIC's investigation is continuing.

Background

Shah's charge relates to conspiring with others to defraud financial institutions through the provision of false documents in support of loan applications submitted on behalf of Myra clients between about March 2008 and August 2010.

The misconduct involved the submission of false documents for more than 500 loan applications valued at approximately $170m to numerous banks and financial institutions, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corporation, St George Bank, Bankwest, Adelaide Bank, Bank of Queensland, Choice Home Loans, Citibank, National Australia Bank, Pepper Homeloans and Suncorp Bank.

The false documents included bank statements, payslips, citizenship certificates and statutory declarations. These were predominantly used in support of applications for home loans for house and land packages as well as for the purchase or refinance of existing homes.

COMMENTS

  • by Garry C 9/10/2017 3:02:00 PM

    5 years for a $170M fraud? Why not 15 years? Such a minor jail term is not really sending the right message.

  • by Clarke Kent 9/10/2017 3:08:38 PM

    Would be interested to know how many loans are in default

  • by 9/10/2017 3:13:40 PM

    Agree with Garry - 5 years is nothing ... what chance of credibility have we got as new entrants in the industry?