Woman sentenced for mortgage fraud

The Auckland High Court sentenced an Indian woman to 12 months home detention and 250 hours of community work for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

The Court said in its verdict on April 2, 2014 that 46-year-old Ms Kumar had pleaded guilty to 10 charges which related to as many property transactions valued at $3.9 million.

Her associate Vicki Ravana Letele (33) still faces 11 charges of dishonestly using a document and will go to trial on August 18, 2014.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) brought the charges against Ms Kumar, relating to 10 property transactions undertaken during the second half of 2010.

According to SFO, Ms Kumar used false documentation to obtain mortgage finance for low income families who would not have otherwise been able to obtain finance.

She benefited by arranging for her (and allegedly, her associate’s) contacts to make the initial purchase of the properties and sell them to the mortgage recipients, thus generating a profit.

SFO Chief Executive Julie Read said that her Office was pleased to have brought the prosecution of Ms Kumar to a successful conclusion.

“The manipulation of mortgage lending systems is a serious form of fraud. Banks should be able to rely on documents submitted in support of mortgage applications to ensure that costs are contained for all borrowers,” she said.

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