Vic ex-banker used stolen cash to buy car

A former NAB banker bought a luxury car with more than $640,000 he defrauded from his employer during a four-year scam.

Melbourne man Andrew Matthews, 38, exploited the bank’s “introducer” program to funnel commission money to himself and a friend.

The program rewarded people who were not NAB staff with commissions for referring customers.

“You were the driving force behind the fraud,” Victorian County Court Judge Claire Quin said on Monday.

Some of the $640,000 cash was spent on a luxury vehicle which Matthews “could ill-afford”, she said.

The car has been reported as a Ferrari by some media outlets.

Clients unknowingly signed forms saying co-accused Nicola D’Agostino had introduced them to Matthews, and the men would divide the commission paid by the bank.

The loans themselves were not fraudulent and clients were genuinely assessed for their suitability and none defaulted.

Matthews ran the scheme between 2012 and 2016 but was only caught when NAB undertook an internal audit.

It was argued Matthews was a “product of the culture” at NAB which was subject to scrutiny during the Financial Services Royal Commission.

The commission strongly criticised the introducer scheme, Judge Quin said.

It was described during the commission as “ill-conceived” and “open to abuse”, she said.

Matthews also tried to get more than $13,000 worth of commissions in the same way in 2016 but NAB rejected the claim.

The judge took into account Matthews’ guilty plea, poor mental health, good prospect of rehabilitation and his lack of criminal history.

He was ordered to spend eight months behind bars, with an additional 28 months as a suspended sentence.

Matthews must also also pay more than $583,000 in compensation.

In September his co-accused D’Agostino was ordered to repay more than $67,000 and complete 125 hours of community work for his role in the fraud.

D’Agostino was also ordered to pay a $1000 fine after he pleaded guilty to recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime.

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