Financial advisor jailed as drugs raid uncovers mortgage fraud

Financial advisor jailed as drugs raid uncovers mortgage fraud



A drugs bust on a property in the Forest of Dean has led to the conviction of three people, one a financial advisor, for mortgage fraud.


The complex investigation began in November 2008, when Gloucestershire County Council funded PC Duncan Sleeman, acting on intelligence, led a raid on a property in Central Lydbrook.

Although the discovery of a large number of cannabis plants led to the arrest of seven, evidential reasons meant that none could be convicted.

However, as Chief Inspector Phil Haynes noted, the case was then diverted into a case of financial fraud and was managed in conjunction with the Economic Crime Unit.

By the end of an extensive financial inquiry, the police were able to pin a charge on three for conspiracy to obtain a mortgage by deception.

The three concerned are financial advisor Louise Butler, 31, Mark Fowles, 39 and John Cope, also 39. All have subsequently pleaded guilty to the offense.

The mortgage fraud charge originated from a scheme conducted by Ms Butler and Mr Fowles, where in an effort to avoid taxation costs, they offered Mr Cope £5,000 to allow them to use his identity when filing the application for a mortgage. 

After Mr Cope agreed to participate in the scam, Ms Butler then abused her job as a financial advisor to process the relevant papers through the mortgage lender. The repayments were made by Mr Fowles via bank accounts held by Mr Cope in order to mask the true origin of the funds.

The trio were sentenced individually, with Mr Fowles netting a 10 month prison term suspended for 12 months and 200 hours unpaid work and Mr Cope a 12 month Community Order with 150 hrs unpaid work. Ms Butler received a 10 month prison sentence suspended for 12 months as well as a 12 month supervision order.


Chief Inspector Haynes commented that the case was “a great example of how our officers in the Forest are supported by colleagues from around the county, in this case a team based at our Headquarters, to clamp down on criminals of every kind operating in our area.”

Leave a comment