A fraudster that led a criminal gang that defrauded high street banks out of almost £8 million by taking out mortgages on properties they didn’t own has been jailed.
The 50 year old man was sentenced to seven years in prison at Southwark Crown Court. He had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to money launder in 2011.
The man who operated under various aliases was director of bogus Montague Mason Solicitors. He submitted false paperwork to Birmingham Midshires and Abbey banks in connection with 33 fraudulent mortgage applications in a two month period.
Other members of the crime gang had been tasked to identify properties that could potentially be used for false mortgage applications.
The fraudulent mortgages were finalised when false paperwork was completed by the solicitors and signed, including the Certificates of Title requesting the banks release the funds.
Once the deals were signed-off and the funds transferred, the stolen money was quickly transferred from the solicitor’s account into a network of bank accounts, controlled by the gang. The money was then withdrawn by the gang in cash.
Det Supt Bob Wishart, of the City of London Police, said:“His meticulous planning and precise execution of this fraud ensured maximum gains– but the scale of his crime resulted in the lengthy sentence passed today.
“Mortgage fraud damages the UK’s economy and therefore affects us all. As the National Lead Force for Fraud, we actively go after people who orchestrate and commit this crime and continue to work with the banks to ensure people can have faith in the integrity of the mortgage system”.
For more information visit the City Of London Police website.
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