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Guilty plea in mortgage fraud prosecution

Guilty plea in mortgage fraud prosecution

Ramni Kumar (45) has entered a guilty plea in the Auckland District Court to 10 charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Ms Kumar and an associate Vicki Ravana Letele (32) faced 10 joint charges under Section 228 of the Crimes Act for dishonestly using a document. The charges related to 10 property transactions undertaken during the second half of 2010. Ms Letele also faces one additional charge under Section 228 alone.

The total value of the fraud is $3.9 million.

Ms Kumar has admitted using false documentation to obtain mortgage finance for low income families who would not otherwise have been able to obtain finance. Ms Kumar benefited by arranging for her (and allegedly, her associate’s) contacts to make the initial purchase of the properties and then on-sell them to the mortgage recipients, thus generating a profit.

SFO Director, Julie Read noted that the SFO had some concerns about the potential for more incidents of mortgage fraud in the current market.

“A market with high demand for properties and rapidly rising prices creates opportunities for individuals to exploit vulnerable buyers. Lenders and buyers need to be alert to this risk,” she said.

Ms Kumar will reappear for sentencing on 11 March 2014.


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