A former Blue Chip salesperson in Southland, Rachel Jarvis has been sentenced to 7 months’ home detention, 200 hours’ community work & $50,000 reparation for mortgage frauds.
Ms Jarvis, 34, pleaded guilty in the Invercargill District Court in February to 5 offences under the Crimes Act in relation to charges the Serious Fraud Office laid in connection with mortgage frauds. They included one count of forgery and 4 counts of using a forged document for personal benefit.
Ms Jarvis altered lending documents to secure loans worth $1.469 million for property investments, subsequently leaving investors with properties they would otherwise have been unable to afford. At the time, she was a sales rep for residential investment company Blue Chip Financial Solutions Ltd.
Serious Fraud Office chief executive Adam Feeley said the level of offending was at the lower end of the office’s threshold for investigations, but it prosecuted because of the high levels of public interest in matters related to Blue Chip.
Mr Feeley also said the case was a good example of co-operation between law enforcement agencies. The criminal investigation branch of the Invercargill police originally referred it to the fraud office after 23 people in Southland laid complaints.
Mr Feeley said Ms Jarvis held 2 roles, one working for Blue Chip selling residential investment properties to potential investors and the other working for Town & Country Finance brokering mortgage applications to lending institutions.
“When Jarvis submitted some mortgage applications to banks on behalf of those she had convinced to invest in Blue Chip products, she changed some of the information supplied to enhance the applications and ensure they were accepted. Exaggerating income, creating fake letters of employment, fraudulently using other companies’ logos on documents, creating fake tenants for applicants and taping applicants’ signatures on to unapproved statements were her methods for obtaining some of the mortgages.
“The investors were unaware of the incorrect information contained within their applications and the false documents were submitted to the bank.”