Former Westpac banker jailed for false home loan applications

A former Westpac home finance manager who submitted $2.5 million worth of false home loan applications for approval has been sentenced to three years in jail.

David St Pierre will spend at least six months in jail after he was sentenced to a maximum of three years for using his position dishonestly and submitting loan applications for approval when he knew they contained false information and documents.

St Pierre had pleaded guilty to three counts of dishonestly using his position in November last year.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission had alleged between 2008 and 2010, St Pierre submitted loan applications for approval when he knew they contained false information and false documents.

He obtained more than $2.5 million worth of home loans for Westpac customers, which they invested with a Tasmanian property development scheme that promised annual returns of 15 per cent to 25 per cent. The scheme collapsed in February 2011, leaving the customers without sufficient income to repay Westpac.

The corporate regulator alleged that by encouraging customers to borrow funds from Westpac, he secured cash bonuses on the loans in addition to his base salary. He allegedly knew the customers were either pensioners, carers or suffering from a disability and would not be able to replay the loan if the scheme failed.

Westpac has compensated customers who obtained loans from Westpac through St Pierre and investors who did not borrow funds from Westpac but claimed to have had some direct contact with St Pierre before making investment in the scheme.

In delivering the sentence, Judge David Kent, QC, of the Southport District Court said St Pierre’s behaviour was calculated, elaborate, determined and not a fleeting mistake.

ASIC is still investigating the collapse of the scheme, which was operated by Capital Growth International Club and All About Property Developments.

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