Mortgage fraud ring receives jail time
David Purdie, 57, of Dunston, Gateshead was the ringleader of the North East-based operation and used two companies to commit the fraud: North East Property Buyers and packaging firm Newcastle Home Loans.
A report by Chronicle Live said the fraudsters submitted false mortgage applications on up to 2,400 properties which included inflating purchase prices, gifting deposits and overstating the amount of rental income properties could generate.
Two of the lenders which fell victim to the scam were Mortgage Express and Southern Pacific Mortgage Lenders.
Michael Foster, 43, from Houghton, was listed as director of North East Property Buyers while Linda Patterson, 57, from Newcastle, worked as an underwriter. The pair, along with Purdie, admitted conspiracy to defraud.
Chartered surveyor, Steven Keay, 54, from Sunderland, and accountant Peter Wardle, 68, from Witton le Wear were also involved in the scam and were found guilty of furnishing false information.
The scheme collapsed after five years, around the time of the financial crisis, when the defendants could no longer afford to keep up with the repayments, resulting in tenants being left homeless when the properties were repossessed.
The BBC confirmed sentencing at Teeside Crown Court which saw Purdie receive five years and six months in prison while Foster was jailed for three years and nine months. Patterson received three years and two months and Keay 23 months. Accountant Wardle will be sentenced on 30 November.