Westpac Adds Former Forum Group CFO to Claim

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

Forum Group transactions to FGFS were not recorded in Forum accounts. FGFS has previously 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 fake equipment rental contracts, where clients were never billed and funds were transferred to FGFS accounts as soon as they entered other parts of the Forum group.

Former Bouchahine junior, Mr Chin, during a lengthy review in September, said he had raised concerns about “loopholes” in complex funding deals with his boss. He confirmed that these shortcomings were from customers never receiving invoices.

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

Mr Rollinson, when questioned by McGrathNicol, was pressed for his suspicions about who else might have been involved in the fraud allegedly committed by Forum and Mr Papas.

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

“You feared, 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-recording of transactions through Forum Finance, movements through the bank account, worried me,” said Mr. Rollinson.

Jennifer C. Burleigh