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Four jailed for ‘dizzying’ mortgage fraud

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18/12/2014

An estate agent and financial adviser are among four fraudsters due to be jailed in Wales today after perpetrating a complex web of mortgage and ID fraud.

Targeting unidentified lenders known to ‘ask less questions than others,’ according to the prosecutor, the band of four conned their way to almost £5m in a major mortgage swindle taking in almost three dozen properties, reported the South Wales Evening Post.

Th fraudsters bought, sold and built homes across Swansea and south west Wales, stealing and inventing identities, using dummy companies and falsifying documents over an eight-year period.

Swansea men Mark Cainen and Swansea-based financial adviser Paul John were at the centre of the con. Ben Pickering, 35, of Truro, in Cornwall, eventually became the ring leader who directed the lucrative operation alongside Carmarthen-based estate agent Emma Davey.

All four are due to be jailed at Swansea Crown Court today after a lengthy sentencing hearing.

During the mortgage fraud, badged dizzying by prosecutor Carl Harrison, Cainen and Pickering used computer software to tailor false salary slips to fox underwriters during the mortgage application.

They also used a variety of false identities in the con and set up dozens of false bank accounts.

Pickering, Cainen and John all admitted a series of counts relating to conspiracy to commit fraud, where Davey denied a number of identical charges but was found guilty.

In a series of emails, the gang talked about using “smoke and mirrors” in a fraudulent mortgage application and Harrison said the gang made cash simply through the rise in a booming property market. After the crash, they made cash by defaulting on mortgage loans.

When properties were later auctioned off by banks, the fraudsters would buy them back at a lower price.

“It is one of the most complex cases of its kind that I know of,” said Harrison.

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