Former Westpac manager jailed for fraud

Former Westpac manager jailed for fraud
Former Westpac manager jailed for fraud

A former Westpac home finance manager has been jailed in the Southport District Court to three years imprisonment, to be released after six months on a recognisance order. 

David St Pierre was found guilty on three counts of dishonest use of his position, with the intention of directly or indirectly gaining an advantage for himself or others.

ASIC alleged that between July 2008 and June 2010, St Pierre submitted loan applications for approval knowing they contained false information and documents. 

St Pierre obtained over $2.5 million for Westpac customers, that they invested with a now failed Tasmanian property development scheme, operated by Capital Growth International Club Pty Ltd (CGIC) and All About Property Developments Pty Ltd (AAPD).

"St Pierre's actions betrayed the trust of his clients and caused them significant financial harm. This sentence showed such behaviour will not be tolerated,” ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said.

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

St Pierre's recognisance is in the sum of $1000, conditioned that he be of good behaviour for a period of 3 years.

ASIC's investigation found that the customers to whom the loan applications related were elderly and vulnerable and with limited financial means, yet in spite of this, St Pierre encouraged them to borrow against their homes, some of which were unencumbered, to invest with CGIC and AAPD, which promised returns of 12–20% per annum.  

The customers received monthly interest payments from CGIC and AAPD after they invested, however, the interest payments stopped shortly before a liquidator was appointed on 28 February 2011. This left customers without sufficient income with which to repay their loans to Westpac.

Westpac has compensated customers who obtained loans from Westpac through St Pierre in relation to amounts they invested in CGIC.  Westpac has also compensated investors who did not borrow funds from Westpac but claimed to have had some direct contact with St Pierre before making their investment in CGIC. 

In March 2014, ASIC permanently banned Mr St Pierre from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services.

 

Tags: 
Fraud Westpac

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