Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A crooked "Middle Eastern" cop in NSW

Probably a Lebanese Muslim

AS A senior police officer, George Kahila was supposed to uphold and enforce the law.

But the well-respected detective sergeant also ran a side business in mortgage brokering which involved falsifying tax returns and payslips to get home loans for clients who would otherwise be refused.

Kahila, 39, secured more than $3 million over three years from lenders including the ANZ bank, Homeside Lending and Macquarie Mortgages, plus $690,000 for himself and his wife, by applying for "low doc" loans.

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One client was an undischarged bankrupt and Kahila put the loan in the client's sister's name to hide assets from creditors and the bankruptcy trustee.

Following a covert investigation by the fraud squad, Kahila found himself in further trouble when he lied about his actions at a Police Integrity Commission hearing in July 2007.

Last year he formally pleaded guilty to 14 offences committed between June 2003 and July 2006. The court heard he told prosecutors that low doc loans were "virtually an invitation" for false or embellished applications and were the "norm" in the industry at the time.

Each of the applicants would not have met the lenders' requirements for a loan because of their income or credit history, but he felt they could meet the repayments.

In the District Court last week, Judge Michael King said as Kahila had been a police officer for 12 years before the first offence, "he must have had a clear understanding of the criminal law and known that he was committing criminal offences".

Kahila had risen to the rank of detective sergeant at Parramatta local area command and had worked in the Middle Eastern organised crime squad. He had been awarded a Commissioner's Certificate of Merit and was well-respected within the force until he resigned in July 2006.

Kahila said an incident in 2000, where he was stabbed in the stomach with a screwdriver while attempting to arrest a thief, had resulted in mental-health and alcohol problems. He began arranging mortgages a year later in an attempt to leave the force.

He was sentenced to 14 months in jail but will serve an intensive correction order, including drug and alcohol testing.


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