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Former Westpac Bank finance manager faces charges over $2.5 million fraud

A former Westpac advisor has been charged over a $2.5 million fraud following an ASIC investigation. Photo: Jim Rice A former Westpac advisor has been charged over a $2.5 million fraud following an ASIC investigation. Photo: Jim Rice
A former Westpac Bank finance manager is facing a potential jail sentence of 12 years after being charged over a $2.5 million fraud that allegedly targeted 18 of the bank's customers, some of whom were elderly or vulnerable.

David St Pierre of Mt Nathan, Queensland has been charged with seven counts of dishonest dealings over his involvement in a property development scheme.

An investigation by Australian Securities and Investments Commission found Mr St Pierre submitted loan applications for approval to Westpac when he knew they contained false information and were supported by false documents.

Mr St Pierre had involvement in a scheme to provide loans to All About Property Developments Pty Ltd (AAPD), the real estate arm of an associated company, Capital Growth International Club Pty Ltd (CGIC) during his employment at Westpac, ASIC alleges.

Mr St Pierre allegedly encouraged the 18 Westpac customers into borrowing against their homes to invest in the scheme which promised returns of 15-25 per cent per annum.

The scheme unravelled in February 2011 when CGIC and AAPD were placed into liquidation, leaving the customers without sufficient income to repay their loans to Westpac.

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

Westpac are working to ensure affected customers are appropriately compensated.

ASIC's investigations are ongoing.

The  advisor faces a maximum penalty of up to 12 years' jail.

Mr St Pierre​ fronted Southport Magistrates Court today to be formally charged. He was released on conditional bail. He is yet to enter a plea.

The matter will return to Southport Magistrates Court on July 6, 2015.

Author: Sarah Danckert
Source: Brisbane Times

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