• Thu. Dec 1st, 2022

Unlicensed attorney loan case comes to a verdict

ByCindy J. Daddario

Sep 23, 2022

A Queensland lawyer who set up a bogus diamond trade and sold payday loans to vulnerable people has lost his appeal to have his license renewed.

Robert Legat, a former director and legal counsel for Fast Access Finance (FAF) in Queensland, was investigated over the scheme, which authorities say Legat preyed on at-risk customers who approached his company for short-term loans.

Attorney Robert Legat from Queensland.Recognition:LinkedIn

According to investigators, customers were instead offered the option to buy diamonds stored off-site on credit.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission banned Legat in September 2017 for its role in developing the scheme.

The diamond model was the subject of several court hearings, including the Federal Supreme Court in 2015 and 2017.

Clients signed a Privacy Act Consent Form, which noted that the client had requested to “borrow a specified amount of money,” and then signed other forms, including a contract to purchase diamonds.

A screenshot of Fast Access Finance's website from 2012. It has since been removed.

A screenshot of Fast Access Finance’s website from 2012. It has since been removed.Recognition:fastaccessfinance.com.au

The purchase price was $250 per diamond.

The diamonds would then be sold to another company, Diamond Clearing House Pty Ltd, for half the purchase price and the customer would receive cash.