£300 Million property fraud successfully prosecutedBen Thomas
Ben Thomas was instructed in the successful prosecution of five defendants involved in one of the UK’s largest ever property frauds.
Through the use of two companies, Newcastle Home Loans and North East Property Buyers, the Defendants purchased thousands of properties from distressed sellers at heavily discounted prices. The properties were obtained by the companies taking out buy to let mortgages, many in the name of unsuspecting friends and relatives of the Defendants and in some cases professional sportsman. The mortgage applications were processed and granted on the basis of grossly inflated property valuations; lies as to the income of the purchaser and concealing from the lender the true source of the deposit. These applications resulted in the lenders advancing over £300 Million in respect of over 2000 properties. After five years, the scheme collapsed when the rental income for the properties could not meet the mortgage payments. The result was that the properties were repossessed, causing many tenants to lose their homes; the unwitting investors to be made bankrupt and the three mortgage lenders involved suffering losses of £112 Million.
The investigation, by Northumbria Police and the Specialist Fraud Division of the Crown Prosecution Service, was one of the largest frauds ever prosecuted in England and Wales and lasted from 2008 until 2015. It involved over 200,000 pages of evidence and an even greater amount of unused material. Ben Thomas was instructed in the summer of 2013 and by the conclusion of the case in October 2015 was the longest serving member of the prosecution team.
More details regarding the fraud and the Defendants can be found here.
Ben Thomas is a criminal law specialist appearing in the full range of criminal cases but with a particular interest in complex and paper heavy frauds.