Essex mortgage fraudsters sentenced to 15 years in prison

Essex mortgage fraudsters sentenced to 15 years in prison


A professional mortgage fraud ring has finally been busted and sent to jail after nearly a year-long investigation.

The four fraudsters – brothers Imran and Nadeem Mirza, Farhan Khan and Khawar Khan, all from Essex – were yesterday found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of duping banks HBOS and Abbey out of nearly £8 million.


They have been given a total of 15 years in prison: Imran and Nadeem Mirza will serve four years each, Farhan Khan was sentenced to two years and Khaward Khan was given five years.


The City of London Police began the investigation in March last year after Abbey and HBOS became suspicious of the activities of the Essex-based law firm, Montague Mason Solicitors.


The court heard how the gang would identify suitable properties in the south east of England to use for fraudulent mortgage applications. The owners were never approached.


Montague Mason Solicitors submitted false paperwork in connection with over 30 fake mortgage applications. These fraudulent mortgages were finalised when all the false paperwork was completed in the name of the solicitors.


As the banks signed the deals off and the money was transferred, the four men acted quickly to disperse the funds into hundreds of false bank accounts, all controlled by the gang.


However, police eventually tracked the fraudsters down and after a series of property searches, they uncovered stacks of false documentation, over £100,000 in cash and £43,000 worth of gold ingots.   


The court heard that when police officers attempted to gain entry into the home of Imran Mirza, he threw a bag of credit cards out of the window before they could be found.


Speaking after the trial, Detective Inspector Perry Stokes from the City of London Police, who led the investigation, said: “This was an extremely well planned and executed fraud which resulted in huge losses to the bank. The sentences passed today send a clear message to organised criminal gangs who think that fraud is the business for them. If you are committing fraud, you better be prepared to go to prison for a long time.”

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