A BNZ mobile mortgage manager who used fabricated documents to inflate his and his wife's incomes to get mortgages to buy $1.6 million of property has been sentenced to 10 months' home detention.
Zhenyu Sun, 34, appeared at Hamilton District Court today and was sentenced on three charges of dishonestly using documents to secure home loans from ANZ, BNZ and ASB totalling $1,588,000 for two Hamilton properties.
Sun, a Chinese-born New Zealand resident, used fraudulent bank documents to show he and his wife, Jing Lao, who worked at BNZ in Hamilton, were earning more than they were and to inflate the equity in a property they already owned so they could meet the requirements to secure three new mortgages.
The mortgages were valued at $1,016,000 for a property in Cordelia Place and $288,000 and $284,000 for a house and land package on Alker Rd in Hamilton.
Judge Philip Connell said Sun appeared to be a hard worker and good citizen who had a "real fall from grace".
"There is no impact on the victims financially because there are no losses, but no doubt there is an effect on these bankers who trusted you and you let them down badly.
"You were in put in a stressful position. You had justified doing what you were doing where you would not normally have done what you did."
Judge Connell also acknowledged Sun had suffered significant shame from having his offending reported, which had badly affected him and his family.
"The fact is you have another job. The current employer values you, speaks highly of the work you do. This was not for a self-centred or selfish reason that you spent the money, it was on purchasing properties."
The judge reduced his sentence from a starting point of two years and six months' imprisonment to 10 months' home detention after taking into account Sun's early guilty plea, remorse and the fact he had no previous criminal history.
Sun's lawyer, Len Caley, told the court the distinguishing factor in Sun's case was that he had not used the money for selfish reasons, but the offending was a result of immense pressure.
Caley said that at the time of the offending in December 2017, Sun's wife was pregnant with their second child and he faced losing the family home because he was personally liable for any contractual breach if the sales of the two properties did not go through.
Sun's extended family had been relying on money from China to pay for the properties, but it had not arrived.
"His name was on the two contracts and he was liable for the repayment of any mortgage of those two properties and any collateral offset should there be any contractual breaches or any loans made - he was responsible personally for," Caley said.
"But Mr Sun has become personally responsible for the wishes of his parents and parents-in-law. That said we have a man that has done the best for his family but has made some very regrettable mistakes."
The mortgages gained using the fraudulent documents have been repaid and discharged and refinanced by SBS Bank, who had no issue with how the mortgages it held were obtained.