Perpetual Trustees should walk away and not pursue Dr. Barry Landa and repossess his home. Dr. Landa has gone through many years of stress and anguish, trying to recover his funds. Funds he never received.
Mortgage Broker Dominic Cincotta may have been jailed for his crimes, yet no investigation has gone into the operations of Perpetual Trustees. ASIC have told Dr. Landa to inform the Fraud Squad, as the account in which the funds were channeled was never reported to Police, Austrac, or ASIC, "AS SUSPECT". Perpetual had RED FLAGGED the account as "SUSPICIOUS, MONEY LAUNDERING".
On 15th February 2008 Dominic Cincotta, Mortgage Broker who was working for Interstar/Challenger, an agent for Perpetual Trustees, now a subsidiary of National Australia Bank ( NAB) who purchased all the mortgages from Challenger for many tens of millions, was committed to five years in prison after pleading guilty to seven fraud charges brought by ASIC.
Dominic Cincotta 53 arranged investments for clients in Sydney and Coffs Harbour. The funds were, in fact, deposited to accounts controlled by Mr. Cincotta, including a Perpetual Investment Management Limited Cash Management account in the name of his wife, and a St George Bank account in the name of his Company ACN 067 567 702 Pty Ltd. Mr. Cincotta then used the funds for his own purposes.
He was charged with dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage in relation to funds totaling $5.8 million. A further four charges in relation to $690,000.00, including one of fraudulent misappropriation, were taken into account on sentencing.
There was internal money laundering going on as the fraudster wrote many millions of dollars in mortgages. He was a good agent for Perpetual Trustees.
Dominic Cincotta acting for the Company Morgan Brooks wrote 3 Mortgages for Dr. Barry Landa Via Perpetual Trustees to the value of $ 1.65 million, to which Dr. Landa never received. Mr Landa paid $750,000.00 off his $1.65m mortgage to the broker before Nov 2003. This was paid by way of 7 cheques (6 x $100,000.00 and 1 x $50,000.00), these funds were also stolen by Dominic Cincotta.
THIS ACCOUNT WAS LABELLED BY OFFICERS IN PERPETUAL, AS “A SUSPECT TRANSACTION ACCOUNT? MONEY LAUNDERING” in 2002, as shown in Paragraph 11 of the Affidavit by Louise Gyton (Risk Officer March 2002) for Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited.
The "suspicious account" was never reported to the Australian Federal Police in early,2002 when it was identified.
This was NOT reported to the Police, ASIC or AUSTRAC, and $millions was passing through his forged wife’s account.
After ASIC successfully put Cincotta behind bars Dr. Landa began to pursue his lost money through the courts, eventually winning by settling before judgement. The case Heperu Pty. Ltd vs. Perpetual Trustees of Australia was heard in the High Court of Australia.
Chief Justice French in the High Court of Australia called the fraud run by Cincotta using Perpetual Trustees, (A Ponzi Scheme). The High Court did not compensate Dr. Landa for the mortgages.
However, Perpetual Trustees claim that Dr. Landa still owes the mortgage repayments that they never received because of the fraud, and have withheld the deeds to his home and two other properties and have threatened repossession.
Dr. Landa was instructed by Cincotta to pay his mortgage payments via Morgan Brooks, the now defunct agency operating in contract with Perpetual Trustees. Unbeknownst to Dr. Landa and other victims, their mortgage repayments were being siphoned off into Cincotta’s wife's personal Perpetual Trustees fraudulent bank account or into his own business account, despite the fact that the cheques were made out to Morgan Brooks, Perpetuals sub agent.
Perpetual Trustees have attempted to distance themselves from the agents that worked in their name. In a letter dated 18th February 2013 Ms. Joanne Hawkins, General Manager Legal and Risk of Perpetual stated,
“we are sympathetic and understand that funds were misappropriated through no fault of your own and also no fault of ours”.
They believe that the outsourcing of mortgage management is not their responsibility even though the mortgages are funded by Perpetual Trustees and that these mortgage agents use the good name of Perpetual Trustees to sell their product. Dr. Landa says that he never paid Cincotta for his services, and that he received his fees out of Perpetual funds via their head agency, in this case Interstar/Challenger.
Dr. Landa said,
“The office was full of Perpetual Trustees signage and literature. The agents would entertain Perpetual Trustee officers in their homes. I always knew Perpetual to be an old and trusted company, blue chip. I thought that my money would be safe with their contracted agents, that there would be processes in place to stop fraudulent practices. I’d never even had a mortgage before. Now my home is going to be repossessed, everything I’ve worked for, gone”
Perpetual Trustees maintain that Dr. Landa was provided with statements and proper accounts. However, Dr. Landa claims that all the accounts he received were concocted and that even the letterhead was forged. Dr. Landa also asserts that Cincotta’s wife’s fraudulent account with Perpetual had been red flagged as “suspicious” however Perpetual continued to allow money to be laundered through the account anyway. The recent court case found that ex-employees described, in writing, how loose the controls on cheques were. No matter how a cheque was made out it could be banked, as the volumes of monies was in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Dr. Landa said,
“I feel that such a large, old and respected finance company, like Perpetual Trustees who delegates outsourcing of funding or products and pay persons via their franchises/agents should know that there is a risk of fraud always and take responsibility through ensuring that good practice processes occur at all stages. Dominic Cincotta was forging signatures which were never checked by Perpetual. He was funneling money into his wife’s fraudulent account with Perpetual even though the cheques were made out to someone else and Perpetual was allowing this to happen.”.
NO INVESTIGATION HAS BEEN MADE INTO PERPETUAL TRUSTEE'S OF AUSTRALIA FOR ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN.???
Dr. Landa's mortgage bank cheques made out to Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited were accepted into this account and extracted the next day by the fraudster.
Cincotta was even able to pay other peoples mortgage payments (usually just the interest) directly into Perpetual Trustee's of Victoria's NAB account after stealing the principal sums through this account.
Clients gave Cincotta the details of their (Perpetual Trustee's of Victoria) account at National Australia Bank to make these deposits.
So, where does Perpetual Trustees sit with this to date.
Perpetual say "Dr. Landa is responsible for the mortgages" and have begun eviction proceedings.
Dr. Landa has never received a cent from the mortgages. It was all banked into Cincotta's wife’s forged account in Perpetual Trustee's Australia Limited.
Dr. Landa says,
“I want other retirees to be wary, to know what the risks are. That just because they think they are investing with a solid, blue chip company it doesn’t mean they are protected by them.”
So where does ASIC sit with all of this to date.
On the 30th July 2014 ASIC replied to Dr. Landa's complaint. This reply from ASIC sets out the outcome of its review and some additional information to assist Dr. Landa in understanding the reasons for their decision.
So where does this leave Dr. Landa to date.
ASIC'S reply is an indictment on the current system, with the main points being.
The facts are clearly exposed that Perpetual Trustees did not inform the Police, ASIC and AUSTRAC of monies being laundered. Perpetual RED FLAGGED this internally and kept it quite. ASIC'S reason to not take further action, is stated to be the age of the conduct. This wrong doing by Perpetual is still within the statutory time. This decision by ASIC is a disgraceful outcome for "ONE MAN" who has fought so hard to expose these crimes and for justice to prevail.Author: Adam Sanders Bank Victims