South Australian man pleads guilty to falsifying payslips to help Vietnamese migrants get home loans
A justice of the peace provided fake payslips to banks in a bid to help Vietnamese migrants buy properties they otherwise couldn’t get, a court has heard.
- Lam Duc Vu founded a charity to help Vietnamese migrants get bank loans
- AFG Bank terminated relationship with Vu’s company after discovering he was providing fake payslips to his clients
- The court heard Vu derived ‘very little benefit’ from his breach
Lam Duc Vu pleaded guilty in the district court to at least 10 counts of dishonest dealings with documents between 2016 and 2017.
The 73-year-old’s lawyer, Patrick Dawes, told the court that his client came to Australia as a refugee and later became a justice of the peace to give back to the country that gave him “a new life” and citizenship.
During sentencing submissions on Monday, the court also heard that Vu helped found a charity – the Vietnam Welfare Service – which helps members of the Vietnamese community file tax returns and apply for bank loans, among other services.
“He knows he let a lot of people down and he knows those, especially, in the Vietnamese community who trusted him to apply for the loans and obey the law, were disappointed by his actions,” Mr. Dawes. the tribunal.
“Not that this justifies my client’s wrongdoing, but in many cases loan applicants have actually had a property they’ve lived in and made repayments they otherwise wouldn’t have had and now have. benefited from a capital gain and the enjoyment of these properties because of the loan.”
Mr Dawes told the court Vu had gained ‘very little benefit’ from his offense and was now remorseful and had ‘learned a hard lesson’.
Mr Dawes told the court that Vu knowingly gave the bank fake payslips, but did not create the documents or any of the loan applicants.
The court heard that AFG terminated its agreement with Vu’s company – Ideal Home Loans – after raising concerns about the legitimacy of the documents provided.
Mr Dawes told the court that Vu was a high school teacher in Vietnam before fleeing to Australia as a refugee after the communist army took over Saigon.
The court heard he arrived in Australia with just 50 cents and started working in a ‘senseless’ factory to ‘improve his situation’.
Mr Dawes asked Judge Paul Muscat to find a ‘good reason’ to suspend a prison sentence which the prosecutor did not object to given that Vu had no criminal history and was little likely to reoffend.
Vu will be sentenced on Friday.