Mortgage fraudster used low income families

by NZ Adviser16 Mar 2016
Vicki Ravana Letele has been sentenced in the Manukau District Court today to three years and two months’ imprisonment.

In a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution, Letele was found guilty on 10 charges of dishonestly using a document. The convictions related to property transactions undertaken during the second half of 2010, the total value of the fraud being approximately $3.6 million.

Letele worked together with Ramni Kumar to obtain mortgage finance for low income families who would not otherwise have been able to obtain finance, by using false documentation. This mortgage finance was used to purchase properties from interests related to Ms Letele and Ms Kumar, generating a profit for them.

SFO director Julie Read said, “We feel for the investors who had put their trust in Ms Letele to deal with their significant financial transactions. The SFO will continue to put such cases before the Court to ensure New Zealand is a safe place to invest.” 

Judge Johns, who presided over the sentencing, noted that in white collar crime it is important to denounce the actions of those involved.

Kumar, who gave evidence at Letele’s trial, entered a guilty plea in January 2014 and was sentenced to 12 months on home detention and 250 hours of community work.

Letele was the sole director/shareholder of Focus Property Investment Ltd, established to broker the selling and arranging of mortgages for first home buyers on low income.

Letele resigned her directorship on 9 July 2011 before the company was placed into liquidation on the 31 January 2012.  

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