Senior Government employee jailed after '£500m' housing scam

Senior Government employee jailed after '£500m' housing scam


A conman who lied about his qualifications in order to land one of the highest-ranking jobs at Warwickshire Home Office has been jailed for a £500 million diplomat housing scam.

38-year-old Andrew Waldron was sentenced to four and a half years at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard how Waldron had become head of an investigation unit at the UK Border Agency, despite having had two previous convictions of deception offences in the last nine years.

Whilst working in the senior post between 2005 and 2009, Waldron obtained thousands of pounds from property companies through claiming that he could award them £480 million in contracts to house foreign diplomats.

The Sunday Mercury reported that the conman had used insider knowledge in order to convince three asylum accommodation firms, a leading London private school, and the manager of an exclusive Kensington apartment complex, that he was the director of a secret Government intelligence agency, called the Cross Border Intelligence Service (CBIS).

The companies in question were led to believe that Waldron had been tasked by the CBIS, which was non-existent, into finding contractors to provide housing for thousands of foreign diplomats and their families visiting London.

Through this devious con, Waldron pocketed £69,000 in five months.

According to the Sunday Mercury, Prosecutor Tim Green said that Waldron should never have been given a job at the Home Office, due to his previous convictions, which would have come to light through a simple criminal records check.

In 2002, Waldron had pleaded guilty to deception offences at Gloucester Crown Court, after lying about his qualifications and obtaining a managerial position at Gloucestershire Police.

He had also lied about his qualifications when he first applied for a contractor’s position with the Home Office in 2005, and had been jailed for two and a half years that December.

However, lack of checks from officials meant that he managed to spend four years as a key Government employee, during which time he allegedly earned more than £500,000.  

When he was finally arrested in August 2009 by West Midlands Police, he was in a role which saw him responsible for multiple asylum housing contracts, each worth over £20 million, and led several UKBA investigations into suspected asylum fraud.

Last Wednesday he was due to stand on trial for the ‘£500 million’ fantasy con but instead decided to plead guilty for six counts of fraud which took place between 2005 and 2010.

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