Westpac adds former Forum Group CFO to claim


Mr. Bouchahine was also Chief Financial Officer of Forum Group Financial Services, a Forum entity that sat outside the broader audited accounts of nearly 30 companies under the Forum Group of Companies banner.

Transactions from Forum Group to FGFS were not recorded in Forum accounts. The FGFS has already been described in court as being “at the heart” of the alleged $400 million fraud by Westpac, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and French bank Societe Generale.

The cases against Forum involve bogus equipment rental contracts, where customers were never billed and funds were transferred to FGFS accounts as soon as they arrived in other parts of the Forum group.

Mr Bouchahine’s former junior Mr Chin, who came under lengthy scrutiny in September, said he raised concerns about “loopholes” in complex funding deals with his boss. He confirmed that these shortcomings were that customers never received invoices.

He said the contracting processes with BHO (a Westpac introducer) and SMBC Leasing (part of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) were designed by the former CFO.

Mr Rollinson, when questioned by McGrathNicol, was pressed on his suspicions as to who else might have been involved in the fraud allegedly carried out by Forum and Mr Papas.

He was shown an email in which he – in July in his capacity as director of Forum in Mr. Papas’ absence – asked for Mr. Bouchahine’s employment contract to see if he could be fired.

“You were worried, weren’t you, that Mr. Bouchahine might have been involved in the implementation of the fraudulent scheme?” asked Nick Kidd, SC, representing McGrathNicol.

Mr. Rollinson replied in the affirmative.

“The non-registration of transactions through Forum Finance, movements through the bank account, worried me,” Mr Rollinson said.

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