Network broker accomplice in Abbey & Nationwide fraud

Network broker accomplice in Abbey & Nationwide fraud


A fraudster and his mortgage broker accomplice have been jailed after scamming £344,000 from two well-known high street lenders, the Halifax Courier reports.

Ejaz Ul Hassan, 33, and mortgage broker Nadeem Ghani, 30, used forged wage slips in order to obtain funds to buy four properties, Bradford Crown Court heard last week.

Mr Ul Hassan, who worked as a commission-only salesman for Safestyle UK Ltd, could not obtain a mortgage as he had failed to fully declare his income to the Inland Revenue.

He approached Mr Ghani, a previous colleague at Safestyle, for assistance in obtaining funds to purchase four houses in Halifax and Huddersfield.

Mr Ghani, a mortgage broker for Citri Ltd, helped Mr Ul Hassan to devise a scheme whereby the pair would submit forged wage slips to lenders to ensure that Mr Ul Hassan would obtain a superior mortgage product.

The fraudulent duo also involved Mr Ul Hassan’s sister, Shaista Afzal, in the scam by submitting two applications for two properties in her name.

Both claimed that Ms Afzal worked at a local jewellery shop, though it has since been discovered that she never appeared on the company’s payroll.

The men obtained advances worth £344,000 from Abbey and Nationwide which were then spent on the four properties, worth a total of £425,000 when purchased in 2007, the title reported.

The report further stated that Ul Hassan contributed £81,000 of his own cash.

The plan also meant that Mr Ghani would obtain a more substantial commission for each successful application, earning an estimated £1,200 once all four had been completed.

All three pleaded not guilty, though Mr Ghani later changed his plea on the day of trial and eventually stood as a witness for the prosecution.

Speaking for Mr Ghani’s defence, Adbul Iqbal drew attention to the fact that the offences had taken place five years ago, when his client was a young man, and since this transgression his client had an unblemished record.

Peter Higginson, speaking on behalf of the defence of Mr Ul Hassan, said that his client had never missed a mortgage repayment, and had sufficient income to cover all four debts in the future.

Ms Afzal’s counsel Soheil Khan, on the other hand, defended her client’s character, telling the court last week that the mother-of-three had a “strong work ethic and would never trouble the court again”.

Judge Robert Bartfield QC, addressing Ms Afzal, said: “I am satisfied that you were used, but you knew what you were getting into. There will have to be a prison sentence but, for many reasons, not least that you are a committed mother, it will be suspended.” 

Whilst Mr Ghani was sentenced to nine months and Mr Ul Hassan was sentenced to two years in prison, Ms Afzal’s nine month sentence will be suspended for a year.

Detective Constable Ash Nuttal, of the Calderdale PCOA Team, said: “It was a set-up which appeared to be working, until financial irregularities were discovered by West Yorkshire Police. This has been a thorough investigation which has uncovered the fraudulent activities of these three, and today’s sentences should serve as a warning to those who think they can get away with committing fraud.”

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