Mortgage broker cops permanent ban for loan fraud

ASIC has permanently banned a former Aussie broker from the credit and financial services industries.

The regulatory action against Ms Emma Feduniw, also known as Emma Khalil, of Brisbane, Queensland, follows an ASIC investigation which led to Ms Feduniw, a former mortgage broker with AHL Investments Pty Ltd (trading as Aussie), being convicted on 3 June 2016 in Beenleigh Magistrate's Court on eight charges relating to home loan fraud. She was convicted and fined $8,500.

ASIC's investigation found that Ms Feduniw provided documents in support of eight loan applications knowing that they contained false or misleading information about the applicant's employment.

"ASIC wants to ensure that dishonest brokers are removed from the industry," ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell said. "We will take all necessary steps to achieve this."

Ms Feduniw has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of ASIC's decision.

On 1 April 2016, Ms Feduniw pleaded guilty through her solicitor to eight charges under section 160D of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 while she was engaging in credit activity on behalf of Aussie. Section 160D makes it an offence for a person engaging in credit activities to give false or misleading information or documents to another person. Ms Feduniw provided false employment documents to secure approvals for home loans, submitted to Westpac Banking Corporation.

On 3 June 2016, Ms Feduniw was convicted and sentenced to a fine of $8,500 for the eight charges.

Aussie said in a statement it had investigated discrepancies and false documents in loan applications made by Feduniw and informed the MFAA, who subsequently terminated her membership.

“Ms Feduniw’s contract with Aussie was terminated in April 2014 after serious breaches of Aussie’s strict code of conduct and legal, credit and compliance obligations,” Aussie said.

“Aussie fully cooperated with ASIC in its investigation and provided supporting documentation and other evidence to assist ASIC in its prosecution.”

Aussie said it understands no customers were disadvantaged financially as a result of Feduniw’s actions.

“Aussie has a zero tolerance policy to any infringements, and reports any terminated brokers to ASIC as part of its governance activity,” it said.

Since becoming the national regulator of consumer credit on 1 July 2010, ASIC has taken 79 actions involving loan fraud, including 60 actions to ban individuals and companies from providing or engaging in credit services or holding an Australian credit licence. ASIC has also commenced 13 criminal proceedings involving loan fraud.

[Related: Mortgage fraud claims spark strong reaction from banks]

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