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Former lender CEO facing criminal charges

The former director and chief executive officer of a credit union has appeared in court facing criminal charges relating to alleged breaches of the Corporations Act and Criminal Code, including making and using false documents.

Following an ASIC investigation, Queensland man Lyndon Allen Kingston, the former CEO of Bananacoast Community Credit Union Ltd (bcu), appeared on 29 November 2019 in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with multiple breaches of the Corporations Act and Criminal Code.

If found guilty, Mr Kingston could face up to 30 years’ imprisonment.

ASIC alleged that, between December 2015 and August 2017, Mr Kingston was responsible for:

  1. Three counts of dishonest use of his position as a director of bcu under section 184(2) of the Corporations Act (maximum sentence of imprisonment of five years);
  2. Two counts of providing false information to bcu under section 1309(1) of the Corporations Act (maximum sentence of imprisonment of five years);
  3. One count of making a false document with the intention of dishonestly inducing a public official to accept as genuine under section 144.1(l) of the Criminal Code (Cth) (maximum sentence of imprisonment of 10 years); and
  4. One count of using a false document with the intention of dishonestly inducing a public official to accept as genuine under section 145.1(l) of the Criminal Code (Cth) (maximum sentence of imprisonment of 10 years).

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The former CFO turned CEO of the credit union had been let go from his position in September 2017.

It has been previously alleged that he had awarded unauthorised contracts worth $2.5 million to six companies, and accepted secret commissions from two of them.

Mr Kingston was released on bail and the matter adjourned to 14 February 2020 before the Brisbane Magistrates Court for further mention.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

In 2008, Mr Kingston became the chief financial officer and then the CEO of bcu. 

During the relevant period, bcu was a credit union based in Northern NSW and South East Queensland.  

Last month, it was announced that Queensland-based lender bcu and WA-based bank P&N Bank had officially merged, after the deal received both shareholder sign-off and regulatory approval from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

The merger will see both brands keep their identities, with the P&N (Police & Nurses) brand in WA and the bcu brand operating in NSW and south-eastern Queensland. However, bcu will now run as a division of P&N.

The national multibrand organisation will have an asset base in excess of $6 billion, making it one of the largest customer-owned lenders in the country.

More to come.

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