Finance broker steals clients’ identities to buy cars

by |
A former finance broker has admitted to stealing the identities of former clients so she could buy two cars, sell them to acquaintances and keep the cash from the sale.

Riyanka Puteri Shiraz, of Canterbury, New South Wales, appeared before Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court and plead guilty to two fraud charges. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for each charge.

The fraud occurred between December 2011 and October 2012 when Shiraz worked as a business manager with finance broker We R Finance Pty Ltd. The business placed its staff in motor dealerships to help the dealers’ customers obtain finance to buy cars.

An ASIC investigation found that Shiraz used tax, employment and income documents as well as the personal details of two former clients, to create false loan applications in their names, without the clients’ knowledge or consent.

The applications were submitted to a lender which approved the loans and Shiraz used the money to buy the cars.

Following her court appearance, Shiraz was granted conditional bail and committed to the District Court for sentencing on 4 April 2014.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting this matter.

In another win, ASIC has permanently banned former accountant, Arden Rodrick Wittensleger, of Menora in Western Australia, from providing financial services and engaging in credit activity.

The commission took action after Wittensleger was found guilty of submitting fraudulent loan applications to obtain a benefit of around $6.5 million following an investigation by Western Australia Police.

Wittensleger was convicted on 23 August 2013 in the District Court of Western Australia of 86 counts of gaining a benefit by fraud following the Western Australia Police investigation. On 14 October 2013, Wittensleger was sentenced to a total term of imprisonment of eight years.

ASIC found Wittensleger's conduct extremely serious, showing a persistent pattern of deception to gain a financial advantage.

Commissioner Greg Tanzer said those who engage in serious and repeated fraud have no place in the financial services industry.

“The functions and duties of a person providing financial services and engaging in credit activity require high standards of honesty and integrity,” he said.

Wittensleger has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC's decision.