Top surveyor accused of overvaluing homes in exchange for fast cars in £10m property scam

Top surveyor accused of overvaluing homes in exchange for fast cars in £10m property scam



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A senior surveyor and the wife of a police officer allegedly took part in a £10m property scam in exchange for fast cars and money.

Mary-Jane Rathie, from Hertfordshire, is currently standing trial at the Old Bailey for her part in the crimes.

She is accused of overvaluing five London properties and thus facilitating the acquisition of approximately £9.5 million of the total £10 million worth of mortgages that were obtained through the scam.

The properties involved included a riverside home in Chelsea, a flat in Belgravia and a flat in Chester Mews, behind Buckingham Palace.

A woman named Joanne Pier – who has now ‘vanished’ after leaving the country - is thought to have been 43-year-old Rathie’s accomplice, and the ring leader in the scam.

Pier is said to have obtained the £10 million mortgages from the Bank of Scotland, and subsequently paid Rathie £900,000 in cheques as well as handing over a Range Rover Sport and a Bentley Continental to her.

The vehicles, valued at almost £200,000, were both registered in the name of Rathie’s husband, 47-year-old David Rathie, a Metropolitan Police Officer.

At present, Rathie is denying five fraud allegations between May 2007 and June 2009. She and her husband are also both denying charges of concealing criminal property.

David Durose, prosecuting, said that the money gained by Rathie was used to pay off a mortgage and to buy a new property, the BBC reports.

He told the court that although different surveyors would give different valuations, the defendant’s valuations were ‘outside the range that could be expected’.

Rathie previously worked for Ashdown Lyons in Finchley, North London. Her RICS membership was suspended last year and she was first introduced to Pier in 2007 when she approached the company for a valuation.

The trial continues. 

 

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