Auckland fraudster jailed for over two years

By Edward Gay

Photo / File
Photo / File

An Auckland man faked his job, bank accounts and property valuations in order to get personal bank loans and a mortgage.

Varun Vikash Venkatnaidu was sentenced at the Auckland District Court today to two years and seven months in jail.

The 38-year-old had earlier pleaded guilty to 12 charges of altering a document, five charges of using a forged document two charges of obtaining by deception.

The court heard how Venkatnaidu posed as a Singapore Airlines engineer and inflated his salary to $190,000 in order to get a mortgage.

On more than one occasion he arrived at the bank wearing a Singapore Airlines t-shirt to make his story more believable.

He also had bank statements to prove his salary and a letter from Singapore Airlines to confirm his employment, but the documents were all part of Venkatnaidu's fiction.

According to the police summary of facts, Venkatnaidu bought a $700,000 property in the Auckland suburb of Dannemora in 2009.

He then set about trying to get a mortgage and first approached Westpac for a loan, telling staff he was a Singapore Airlines engineer with a salary of more than $150,000.

Westpac gave him a credit card which Venkatnaidu used to run up debts of over $12,000. The bank cancelled the card and a home loan application when it discovered the documents were fake.

Venkatnaidu next approached Kiwibank where he presented forged bank records. He again used a forged letter from Singapore Airlines. This time his salary had increased to $178,500 plus bonuses.

Kiwibank found that Venkatnaidu had never been employed with the airline and cancelled the loan.

A similar attempt at HSBC also came unstuck. However, on this occasion, Venkatnaidu had also altered the Barfoot and Thompson sale and purchase agreement for the house to show it was now worth more than $885,000. The loan was turned down.

A fifth attempt at ANZ was also rejected.

Two years later, Venkatnaidu bought a second property in Flat Bush and this time managed to convince the National Bank with a series of forged documents, including a fake bank account which showed he had more than $200,000.

A forged valuation increased the property's worth from $710,000 to $833,000. Sales comparison figures in the area had also been increased.

He also got a personal loan of $29,000 after showing he earned $190,000 at Singapore Airlines

In sentencing, Judge David Harvey said he could not be satisfied there was any remorse on Venkatnaidu's part.

He said Venkatnaidu had a history of fraud convictions and had not learnt from past sentences.

He described the prisoner as someone who used "deception and lies" to buy houses in good neighbourhoods.

"It seems you desire a lifestyle greater than your means can support."

Judge Harvey ordered that the outstanding sum of more than $16,000 be paid back within 56 days.

Venkatnaidu's lawyer Ron Mansfield told the court his client's house had been sold and the outstanding money owed was being held in a trust fund and would be paid back in full.

- APNZ

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