• July 20, 2021

NAB’s loyalty to Papas thwarted Westpac investigations

National Australia Bank has been accused of foiling rival bank Westpac’s investigations into an alleged $ 400 million fraud orchestrated by colorful football identity Bill Papas due to his long-standing relationship with Forum Finance.

The news of the bad blood between the two banks came when Papas ‘business partner Vincenzo Tesoriero assured the Federal Court that he would not leave the country without giving Westpac 24 hours’ notice. Followed revelations in Age Y The Sydney Morning Herald that Mr. Treasurer spent $ 40 million of Westpac’s money to buy luxury homes and gas stations in small rural towns.

Bill Papas, CEO of Forum Group, left. announcing a partnership between Iugis and Liverpool FC in February 2020. Credit:

Westpac took emergency legal action late last month accusing Forum Finance of defrauding the bank by posing as its clients. The alleged fraud has been described by a judge as “an elaborate, calculated and long-standing fraud that would rank high in the catalog of corporate malfeasance.”

Westpac alleges in court documents obtained by this header that one of the members of its fraud and financial crime prevention team approached NAB on June 22 to report the fraud and asked NAB to stop transactions on a Forum account. Finance.

“At that time, (the Westpac staff member) was informed by NAB that the account was ‘on hold’ and that their client would be questioned regarding the transaction,” Westpac alleges.

Three days later, a senior Westpac employee discovered that NAB had not complied with his request, despite its initial assurances.

“(The Westpac staff member) informed me that NAB had told him that (the) account was in the name of Forum Finance Pty Limited, that NAB had a long-standing customer relationship with Forum Finance, that it had not retained that account and would need an email with the details of the fraudulent transactions to retain the account, ”Westpac’s attorney said in court filings.

NAB sources not allowed to speak publicly said the bank believed it had to protect its customers and had previously asked its customers’ alleged fraud victims to prepare an email detailing the exact transactions in question and the details of the alleged fraud before considering such a response. It is not clear why NAB gave the initial guarantee and then did not retain the account.

NAB was the banker of choice for Forum Finance and Papas y Tesoriero, providing credit cards and secured loans to the Forum property, sources familiar with the NAB-Forum relationship said.

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