Two people who built up a £4m buy-to-let empire on fraudulent mortgages have been sent to jail.
The pair were found guilty after a trial last month where their mortgage broker was cleared by the jury. Paul Bradwell was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud. He said he had been fed false information which he had no reason to doubt.
Last Friday, his former clients Jason Omar, 41, of Middlesbrough – who was sentenced to two and a half years – and Angelique Huggett, 45, of Stockton – who was sentenced to two years – faced the reckoning at Teesside Crown Court.
Huggett’s sentence will run concurrently with the sentence she is already serving for her role in a £1m drugs ring.
Between 2007 and 2008 the pair bought 39 properties after obtaining mortgages and remortgages fraudulently by lying about their incomes and overstating the purchase prices. Both had ‘flipped’ their properties, using bridging loans, to remortgage their properties before even owning them.
Omar, who denied the charge of conspiracy to commit fraud, bought 22 houses worth around £2.5m, while Huggett, who pleaded guilty, amassed a property portfolio of around £1.4m.
The court was told that Omar was responsible for choosing the properties and renovating them. He had been the landlord rather than the mastermind of the fraud. He had kept up repayments of the loans, so that the banks had had no actual loss.
However, sentencing the pair, Judge Howard Crowson told them: “I do accept that this is a case where you intended no loss, but you did run the risk of a great loss which was not your risk to run.”
The pair had used the services of a conveyancing solicitor, Desmond McCarthy. He was arrested, charged and faced trial, but walked free halfway through on the direction of the judge.
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