In February 2021, our client was charged with 20 counts of publishing false statement with the intention of obtaining a financial advantage, contrary to section 192G of the Crimes Act 1900. The charges related to an alleged home warranty insurance scam that aimed to defraud a bank by $14.7 million.
Hanna Legal engaged in negotiations with the prosecution, which resulted in all of the publish false statement offences being withdrawn in exchange for our client pleading guilty to three counts of make false document for financial advantage, contrary to section 253(b)(ii) of the Crimes Act 1900. Under the plea agreement, the DPP agreed for the charges to remain in the Local Court instead of being dealt with in the District Court. For more information, see: DPP drops charges against Charbel Douna in LuxLiving $14.7m housing fraud case, Illawarra Mercury, 16 March 2022.
Our criminal lawyers negotiated the statement of facts in our client’s favour and assisted in the preparation of extensive subjective material on his behalf in order to mitigate his sentence.
Hanna Legal represented our client at his sentence hearing at the Wollongong Local Court, where it was successfully argued on his behalf that he should not be sentenced to full-time imprisonment. Instead, the Magistrate agreed that it was appropriate for our client to be dealt with by way of an Intensive Corrections Order, which was made for a period of 14 months.
For more information, see: Elie Douna: Illawarra property developer sentenced for $15m loan scam, The Daily Telegraph, 21 September 2022.