Aussie plunders from banks Down Under

Leasing Life has covered the extraordinary story of how a Sydney photocopier salesman's fraud caused Australian lenders to lose $2bn (about £1.1bn) through forged leasing contracts. The story is reminiscent of the Arena TV case, but differs in that the Australian version featured forged contractual signatures. 

What does it take for someone to systematically defraud scores of businesses over the course of several years? Lots of front, certainly, but also greed - getting away with the scam, then repeating and refining it. So far, the culprit has evaded justice.

As a lawyer acting for banks and finance houses, my job often involves pursuing civil fraud claims. Prevention is better than cure, but that is easier said than done (my fellow Partner, Roger Potgieter, commented recently on various prevention initiatives: Fraud prevention takes centre stage following Arena TV's collapse (

The key to successful legal action is for the lender to seek specialist advice as soon as it discovers or suspects that it has been defrauded, with a view to formulating a plan and actioning it as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence, but it is also vital to form a multi-disciplinary team, so that the plan offers the most appropriate course of action for the lender's business in the particular case under consideration (eg. after weighing up civil and criminal law remedies, regulatory duties and reputational concerns).


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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