Appearing in the Downing Centre Local Court, Bassem Fares, a former lending officer with Firstfolio Services Pty Ltd, was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, to be served by way of an Intensive Correction Order (ICO), after pleading guilty to five charges of giving misleading information in the course of engaging in a credit activity.
The ICO comes with conditions that Mr Fares perform 100 hours of community service and take part in rehabilitation.
An ASIC investigation found that between December 2013 and March 2014, Mr Fares created 12 payslips, six income tax payment summaries and three letters of employment to support five loan applications for clients who wanted to obtain loans.
Mr Fares submitted the false documents with ING Direct (Australia) Ltd and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd.
After submitting the documents, the banks provided loans to two applicants for a total of $1,066,000.
Once Firstfolio became aware that the loan documents were misleading, they cancelled the loan applications for the three other applicants.
At the time, the maximum penalty for a breach of section 160D(2) was imprisonment for two years. The maximum penalty has since been increased to five years of imprisonment.
Mr Fares was permanently banned by ASIC from engaging in any credit activities in 2015.
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