A £5 million mortgage fraud has resulted in three men being jailed and one woman being sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years, with 200 hours community service.
Ben Pickering, 35, Paul John, 44, Mark Cainen, 44 and Emma Davey, 34, were all caught in a scam that used fake identities to take out mortgages.
The plot went so far as for the fraudsters to change their names by deed poll.
Pickering a film producer, who was reportedly once a prospective candidate for the Conservative party in the Swansea West area, turned to these offences that “were fuelled not by economic necessity, but by greed”, as Judge Keith Thomas described them.
John, a financial advisor from Swansea, used his position to put the applications for the mortgages forward, assisted by Davey.
Catrin Evans, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit for Wales, commented after the case, “These four defendants were involved in an audacious, systematic and very large scale financial fraud, committed over a long period.
“The group’s activities were undone by meticulous and professional work by expert financial investigators, working in tandem with specialist complex casework lawyers… All four have now rightly been held to account for their actions.”
The housing market still remains inaccessible for many, many people, highlighted by the recent Starter Home initiative targeting first time buyers who can be up to forty years of age. People taking advantage of the system to fraudulently claim money only undoes the work that schemes like the Help to Buy scheme is working to do.
Pickering was jailed for six years, Cainen for eight, John for three years and four months.