Mortgage adviser swindles £200K from friends and associates

Mortgage adviser swindles £200K from friends and associates


A Bradford-based mortgage adviser has been jailed after swindling friends out of £200,000 in order to fuel his gambling addiction.

31-year-old Kevin Barker lied to those who were closest to him, persuading them that there was a substantial amount of money to be made through a property development opportunity.

At Bradford Crown Court, Prosecutor Stephanie Hancock said that 16 complaints had been lodged for varying amounts, from £5,000 to £25,000. She added that some of the victims had taken out personal loans and readjusted their finances on the promise that they would make money in the developments.

The Bradford Telegraph & Argus reported that victims of the scam included Barker’s former best man and the godparent of his children.

Barker, a part-owner of K&B Mortgage Solutions, used the good name of the company as a prop in his scam.

Yet in court, Barker was handed a sentence for just 18 months. The judge, Recorder Paul Watson QC, said that he had reduced the sentence after reading numerous positive references from the complainants, who had not wanted him jailed.

He said: “I have read some remarkable testimonials written by people including Mr Brook, somebody who clearly lost a significant amount to you and your fraud, but even now, and to this day, he is prepared to speak highly of you.

“In one sense it makes it worse because it demonstrates the affection these people had for you, which you so blatantly abused in order to lay your hands on their money to feed your gambling thrill.”

Recorder Watson explained that another reason why Barker’s sentence had been lessened was because he had handed himself into the authorities.

The court heard that after Barker’s mother discovered what her son had done she phoned all of the complainants to tell them the truth. Barker then handed himself into police and later pleaded guilty to 16 fraud charges in court.

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