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Guilty verdict in mortgage fraud case

Vulnerable first-home buyers were the target of a woman who has been found guilty of mortgage fraud worth millions in the Auckland District Court.

Thursday, September 3rd 2015, 10:46AM

by Miriam Bell

The jury in a long-running Serious Fraud Office (SFO) case found Vicki Ravana Letele guilty of 10 charges, under Section 228 of the Crimes Act, of dishonestly using a document.

Letele faced 11 charges, relating to 11 property transactions that took place in 2010, but the jury found her not guilty on one charge.

The SFO case detailed how Letele and an associate, Ramni Kumar, used fake documents to get mortgage finance for low income families who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to get finance.

The mortgages were then used to buy property from interests related to Letele and Kumar, which generated them a profit which, ultimately, amounted to $3.9 million.

SFO director Julie Read said vulnerable investors are often targeted by those who are aware of their inexperience in dealing with significant financial transactions.

“We hope the verdict demonstrates that serious financial crime in the lending environment will be discovered and prosecuted.”

She added that it is important, wherever possible, to get advice from reputable advisers and institutions. 

At the time of the offending, Letele was the sole director and shareholder of Focus Property Investment Ltd, which was established to broker mortgages for first home buyers on low incomes.

In 2011 she resigned her directorship of Focus and the company was placed into liquidation in 2012.

However, this case was not the first time Letele has been in trouble with the law.

In 2013, she was convicted and sentenced for practicing as an unlicensed real estate agent.

Letele has been remanded on bail and will be sentenced on 3 November.

Kumar pleaded guilty to the charges laid against her earlier this year and was sentenced to 12 months on home detention and 250 hours of community work.

*Note: Vicki Ravana Letele is not connected to South Auckland solicitor Victoria Letele

Tags: financial advisers Mortgage Advisers serious fraud office

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA 4.55 3.19 3.19 3.49
AIA Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
ANZ 4.44 3.15 3.25 3.85
ANZ Special - 2.65 2.75 3.35
ASB Bank 4.45 3.19 3.19 3.49
ASB Bank Special - 2.69 2.69 2.99
Bluestone 4.44 4.44 4.44 4.44
BNZ - Classic - 2.65 2.69 2.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.15 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 4.60 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 4.55 3.25 3.29 3.59
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
BNZ - TotalMoney 4.55 - - -
China Construction Bank 4.49 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 2.65 2.65 2.80
Credit Union Auckland 5.45 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
First Credit Union Special 5.85 3.35 3.85 -
Heartland 3.95 2.89 2.97 3.39
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 4.99 4.35 4.45 -
HSBC Premier 4.49 2.60 2.65 2.80
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 3.99 2.58 2.68 2.79
Kainga Ora 4.43 3.29 3.39 3.85
Kiwibank 3.40 3.40 3.54 4.00
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset - - - -
Kiwibank Special 3.40 2.65 2.79 3.25
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Nelson Building Society 4.95 3.45 3.49 -
Pepper Essential 4.79 - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Resimac 3.49 3.45 3.39 3.69
SBS Bank 4.54 3.29 ▼3.19 ▼3.49
SBS Bank Special - 2.79 ▼2.69 ▼2.99
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40 2.79 2.79 3.39
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40 3.29 3.29 3.89
TSB Bank 5.34 3.59 3.49 3.79
TSB Special 4.54 ▼2.65 2.69 2.99
Wairarapa Building Society 4.99 3.75 3.99 -
Westpac 4.59 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 4.59 - - -
Westpac Special - ▼2.65 2.69 2.79
Median 4.55 3.22 3.22 3.44

Last updated: 3 July 2020 8:15am

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