Comment of the Week: Fraud and where the buck stops

by AB14 Jul 2014
Last week, brokers sounded off on the case of a Sydney woman who pleaded guilty to home loan fraud.

Shashi Kanta Prasad, of Chipping Norton, NSW, pleaded guilty after ASIC found she created false loan documents for seven clients. Prasad pleaded guilty to making seven false statements, producing 41 fake documents and instruments and using those statements, documents and instruments with the intention to obtain a financial advantage for her employer in the form of commissions.

Virendra Anand showed frustration that dodgy operators still sour the industry.

"Here we are trying to do the right thing by the clients and the trade saying no to deals not meeting the guidelines, and you hear these stories, how in the world do these people creat forged documents for years and still keep trading."

Some commenters also called for Prasad's employer to suffer retribution, but Senior Broker argued for calm.

"How about innocent before proven. We know that Mrs Shashi Kanta Prasad has pleaded guilty however just because her employer also has the same surname cannot automatically make the employer guilty as well because they share the same surname. Sounds like a kangaroo court to me! Do you not feel ASIC is able to investigate properly?"

Stevo said ASIC should also be turning its eye toward borrowers.

"When are we going to get it? At the end of this whole process and 99.9% of fraud involves a fraudulent customer. I hope at some point the legal system starts to bring them into the fraud under proportionate liability and criminal conviction. Then and only then will they take responsibility for there OWN actions, and fraud cases will decline."

Comment of the week goes to Ed Ridge, who said ASIC needs to look beyond small operators to where bigger problems lie.

"I think the question left unanswered is 'where is the licencee in all of this, the compliance manager etc'. ASIC needs to start taking action against those that are in positions of trust that allow this to happen. Look at CBA FC/Financial Wisdom while ASIC put some of the FP's on notice none of the management or compliance team were held accountable so therefore the bad practices continued. Some lessons need to learnt and they won't if you just keep attacking the lowest hanging fruit. It's time to climb up the tree and get some of the 'really jucy fruit.'"