Brokers among 11 charged with £4m mortgage fraud

Brokers among 11 charged with £4m mortgage fraud




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A court has heard how 11 people had created fake occupations and incomes as part of an elaborate £4 million mortgage fraud, reports the Bournemouth Echo.

The 11 defendants, comprising of two mortgage brokers, a conveyancing clerk, seven property buyers and the wife of a broker, deny all 19 charges of fraud levied against them. 

The charges named sums between £352,250 and £127,850 falsely claimed by the alleged fraudulent group on 19 occasions between 2003 and 2006.

Amanda Powis, 44, was, according to the title, described by prosecutor David Bartlett as “the principle defendant” and faces 17 charges. She had worked as a conveyancing clerk in the Broadstone offices of solicitors Harold G Walker between 2003 and 2006. 

Mortgage broker Alex Chiswell, 33, was charged with ten offences after working at Premier Finance Consultants in Charminster. His wife Lisa was accused of two offences after £43,000 was reportedly deposited in her bank account across two transactions.

Broker Colin Zaczyk faces five charges, whilst fellow mortgage dealer Peter King also faces a charge despite his absence from court.

The court heard last week how UK bank Halifax was fooled into lending £237,450 to defendant Dermot O’Malley-Keyes, 60, for a flat on Seamoor Road, Bournemouth in 2005.

An application form for the mortgage was accompanied by business accounts for Mr O’Malley, who was trading as O’Malley Developments, which stated that he earnt £115,000 per year.

However, Mr Barlett told the court that Mr O’Malley had been unemployed and on benefits since 2000.

The Royal Bank of Scotland lost around £57,000 despite repossessing the flat, the hearing was told.

Mr Barlett went on to tell the jury how inflated property prices meant that mortgages were requested for a value higher than that of the properties, aided by the use of forged documents. 

Any surplus cash was then retained by the conspirators, with lenders losing an average of £100,000 on each property, the court heard.

Mr Bartlett said that in the majority of counts Ms Powiss had failed to inform lenders of a “builder’s incentive” cash amount being borrowed, money which was given in excess of the value of the properties. 

He added: “We say that this was more than negligence, it was deliberately dishonest conduct designed to facilitate the obtaining of funds by people other than borrowers whom she knew were not entitled to them.”

 

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