Three people have been sentenced to a total of almost ten years in prison for defrauding mortgage lenders of £4.6m.
Former police financial investigator Charles Overend, assisted by his brother Jonathan Overend and Carrol Thompson, defrauded mortgage providers by hiding discounts he had received on the price of a residential property. He then tricked lenders into offering loans that were proportionally much larger than normal for buy-to-let properties.
Charles Overend and his associates bought 32 properties across the country between them, using £4.6m dishonestly obtained through mortgages.
Stephen Rowland, reviewing lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service Central Fraud Group, said: "The sheer scale and effectiveness of this fraud were remarkable.
"Lenders were eager to make the most of the property boom and Mr Overend knew how to exploit them to turn himself into a property millionaire.
"This trio did not have the cash to get heavily involved in property, so they decided deception was the answer. Today's sentences have proved them wrong."
Charles Overend received a sentence of five years and six months for the mortgage fraud, plus a consecutive three month sentence for possessing a false identity document.
Jonathan Overend was sentenced to one year imprisonment, while Carrol Thompson was given a suspended sentence of 150 weeks and 200 hours of unpaid labour.
Rowland said the scam relied on Charles Overend securing a substantial discount on the asking price of properties. In one case he got a discount of £89,900 in total on two properties in Wigan. He then applied for mortgages for the asking price instead of the price actually agreed.
Carrol Thompson, who was employed as a clerk for various solicitors' firms, assisted Overend by supplying false information to lenders or their agents on the agreed price for the properties.
The undisclosed discounts allowed the trio to secure loans worth more than 85% LTV, with a mortgage for properties in Harrogate actually worth 107% of the agreed purchase price.
All three defendants pleaded guilty on 7 July 2010 at Southwark Crown Court.
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