A Coventry IFA was jailed for five and a half years for his part in an extended mortgage fraud after he overstated a single client’s income several times to secure mortgages.

Mortgage Fraud

The client, Michael Browne, was sentenced to three years in prison at Birmingham Crown Court, but the term will be reduced after time already spent in custody and his guilty plea.

Police officers working on Operation Closedown – a major operation to tackle crime in Coventry – arrested Browne in November 2008, according to the Coventry Telegraph.

IFA Mark Campbell was convicted of fraud by a jury, who heard how he falsified incomes and produced false letters of employment and references. The report suggested Campbell obtained mortgages for Browne and his family and associates with a ‘no questions asked attitude’, without signing forms or producing proof of income.

Campbell also used the services of another man, Andrew Harris from Keresley in Coventry, to produce false payslips. Harris pleaded guilty in 2009 and will be sentenced at a later date.

Browne, aged 49, who also has a villa in Spain and ten homes in Coventry, now faces losing everything as West Midlands Regional Asset Recovery Team vowed to claw back his wealth.

Detective Inspector Chris Berrow, of the Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: ‘Browne pleaded guilty at an early stage when he saw the overwhelming evidence against him. Campbell and Smith, however, denied the fraud to the end even though there was overwhelming documentary evidence that showed they lied to banks and lending institutes time and time again.’

‘Campbell abused his position and used his knowledge and skills to obtain a mortgage for anyone who wanted one, no matter whether they were employed or not. He even acquired property for family members using false applications to ensure they benefitted too,’ Berrow said.


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Tim Capper

Bringing you financial news and information in plain english for Maple Leaf Financial. My aim is to help readers understand these often complex financial instruments.