Marilyn was getting was a line of credit for $300,000 from Westpac bank manager David St Pierre.
St Pierre is now the subject of a Senate investigation.“I was able to get a low doc loan - it meant that I had equity in the house, I could stay in the house, pay everything - it sounded so good”, Marilyn said.
Marilyn remortgaged her home to invest money into a fraudulent investment scheme spruiked by Liz Orchard.
The scheme has also ruined the life of Dell Black who took out a $275,000 loan from Mr. St Pierre and her 98-year-old mother got one for $140,000.
Gold Coast developer Rod Lambert says Westpac's lending practices need further investigation.
“It's wiped us out. My wife and I have been wiped out as a result of this, we've essentially lost everything we had," Mr. Lambert said.
He accuses the bank of lending millions of dollars to a convicted criminal, Mario Girardo.“Westpac advanced him nearly $20 million. He had three criminal convictions and was on bail for the extortion charge, which he's now been jailed for," Rod said.
Mr Girardo was able to borrow millions of dollars despite being disqualified from managing a company. His involvement in an intricate property swindle, lead to Mr. Lambert losing his home.
“Surely a bank of Westpac's stature and size would have been able to have undertaken a thorough and proper checks into the man's background”, he said.
Statement from Westpac:
A number of people, including a small number of Westpac customers, appear to be the victims of a sophisticated scam and are suffering financial hardship as a result of borrowing to invest in the scam.
Westpac is committed to providing appropriate compensation to those customers who have borrowed money from us and who have been the victims of the apparent scam.
We believe that the apparent scam was committed by individuals who were never connected with Westpac's business.
The matter is presently before the Police.
We are strongly encouraging all Westpac customers who believe they are victims of this apparent scam to lodge a formal complaint with the Police so that a full and proper investigation can be undertaken.
The home finance manager who facilitated entry into the loans is no longer employed by Westpac.
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