David St Pierre, who falsified loans documents when he was a Westpac home finance manager, has been sent to jail.
He submitted false information to obtain $2.5 million in loans for Westpac customers, which was then invested in a now-failed Tasmanian property development scheme, operated by Capital Growth International Club and All About Property Developments.
Many of the customers were elderly and vulnerable when they were promised interest returns of up to 20% to cover the interest costs of the loans taken out against the value of their homes. One was aged 98.
St Pierre earned a financial advantage in the form of cash bonuses on the loans.
The collapse of the scheme meant the elderly customers didn’t have interest income to make payments to the bank when they fell due.
St Pierre was today sentenced to three years imprisonment after pleading guilty to dishonest use of his position. He will be released after six months on a recognisance order.
In delivering the sentence, Judge Kent in the Queensland District Court remarked that St Pierre’s behaviour was described accurately by the Crown as calculated, elaborate, determined and not a fleeting mistake.
The case was pursued by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).
“St Pierre’s actions betrayed the trust of his clients and caused them significant financial harm,” says ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell.
“This sentence showed such behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Westpac has compensated customers who obtained loans through St Pierre.
In March 2014, ASIC permanently banned St Pierre from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services .
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